Skip to main content

News

Read our latest Welsh Festivals news.

The challenges of engaging young readers in Welsh will be highlighted in new Cardiff University research, commissioned by the Welsh Books Council, at the National Eisteddfod.

A study by Dr Siwan Rosser, from the School of Welsh, suggests that a majority of young readers associate reading Welsh with schoolwork and choose to read in English for pleasure.

Dr Rosser will be joined by leading names from media and publishing in Wales to discuss how to engage young audiences with storytelling across print, media and digital platforms.

Her session, in the Cardiff University tent at 13:00 on Friday 11 August, is a preview of the findings of her Review of Welsh Books for Children and Young Adults commissioned by the Welsh Books Council. The report will be published in the autumn.

Readers' experiences

Dr Rosser canvassed the opinions of young readers across Wales through an online questionnaire and focus groups.

“I found that the majority chose to read for enjoyment in English and felt reading Welsh was associated with school,” she said.

“This is in contrast to English books whose titles and authors feature regularly in high street shops, on film/television/radio and online.

“This discussion brings practitioners and producers in publishing and the media together with young readers from Anglesey to explore how to access and engage young people in reading and creativity across print, media and digital platforms.”

Cardiff University’s theme for the 2017 National Eisteddfod is Cardiff Connected – how Cardiff University and its students, staff and alumni are connected to Wales and beyond.

Are pupils who attend Welsh-medium schools in south-east Wales mostly from middle-class backgrounds and does it matter?

Siôn Llewelyn Jones, from Cardiff University’s School of Social Sciences, will examine these questions in a presentation at Cardiff University’s tent at the National Eisteddfod on Anglesey on Thursday 10 August at 16:00.

He said: “There is an assumption that as a result of school choice, the majority of students who go to Welsh-medium schools in south-east Wales are largely from privileged, middle-class backgrounds.

“I will examine whether this assumption reflects evidence on the social composition of Welsh-medium and English-medium schools.

“I will also explain how school choice contributes to the differences in the social composition of Welsh-medium and English-medium schools in south-east Wales.”

Cultural, educational and economic considerations

Mr Jones said parents were influenced by many factors when deciding whether to choose Welsh or English-medium schools including cultural, educational and economic considerations, and how they relate to the Welsh language.

While it is a complex matter to establish whether Welsh-medium schools are “middle class”, Mr Jones said the data did enable some conclusions to be drawn.

“Welsh-medium schools in south-east Wales on average have lower proportions of students from the poorest households because they have on average lower percentages of students on free school meals compared to English-medium schools in south-east Wales,” he said.

He said Welsh Government and local authorities needed to develop policies to ensure that children from all social backgrounds were able to access Welsh-medium education.

Cardiff University’s theme for the 2017 National Eisteddfod is Cardiff Connected – how Cardiff University and its students, staff and alumni are connected to Wales and beyond.

See Cardiff University’s full programme here.

Welsh Assembly Member and former broadcaster Rhun ap Iorwerth will be talking about Brexit, Anglesey and the future direction of Welsh politics in a joint ITV Cymru Wales-Cardiff University session at the National Eisteddfod next week.

The Plaid Cymru AM for Anglesey will be in conversation with journalist Siôn Jenkins of ITV Cymru Wales’ current affairs programme Y Byd Ar Bedwar at the Cardiff University Pavilion on the Maes on Wednesday, 9 August (16:00). He will also be talking about his work as a politician and his previous career as a BBC journalist.

The session is part of Llais y Maes (Voice of the Maes), an initiative led by Cardiff University’s School of Journalism, Media & Cultural Studies (JOMEC) in partnership with ITV Cymru Wales, S4C and the National Eisteddfod at this year’s event in Anglesey.

Producer Iwan Roberts said: “Y Byd Ar Bedwar has been providing S4C audiences with hard-hitting current affairs reports for 35 years. It will be fascinating to hear Rhun ap Iorwerth’s views on a range of topical issues as well as learning about his background and motivations...”

Llais y Maes

Throughout Eisteddfod week, ITV Cymru Wales journalists are teaming up with Cardiff University media students and giving them the opportunity to work alongside professional journalists for a digital news service covering the festival.

Students will be drawing on the knowledge of industry professionals to create unique multi-platform content from the Maes. In conjunction with ITV Cymru Wales, the service will be led by JOMEC’s Welsh language lecturers, Sian Morgan Lloyd and Manon Edwards Ahir.

Sian said: “Llais y Maes will give students the opportunity to learn and practise new skills, establish contacts and gain an insight into the life of a working journalist.

“This year we’re delighted to have the backing of significant new industry partners, S4C and ITV Cymru Wales, along with the valuable continuing support from the National Eisteddfod...”

JOMEC alumna Glesni Euros is one of the ITV Cymru Wales team of journalists who will be supporting Llais y Maes at the Eisteddfod.

“JOMEC provided me with a vital stepping stone to my current role at ITV Cymru Wales,” said Glesni. “I’m looking forward to working with JOMEC’s enthusiastic students and lecturers to create a quality digital service from the Maes.”

Cardiff University media students will work alongside professional journalists as an exciting digital news service covering the National Eisteddfod celebrates its fifth year.

Llais y Maes (Voice of the Maes), led by Cardiff University’s School of Journalism, Media & Cultural Studies (JOMEC), is partnering ITV Cymru Wales, S4C and the National Eisteddfod at this year’s event in Anglesey.

JOMEC students will draw on the knowledge of industry professionals to create unique multi-platform content from the Maes.

Llais y Maes gives students the opportunity to learn and practise new skills, establish contacts and gain an insight into the life of a working journalist.

New industry partners

Leading the service will be JOMEC’s Welsh language lecturers, Sian Morgan Lloyd and Manon Edwards Ahir, and ITV Producer Iwan Roberts.

Sian said: “This is an exceptional opportunity for students to experience life as a journalist in a vibrant and exciting news environment.

“This year we’re delighted to have the backing of significant new industry partners, S4C and ITV Cymru Wales, along with the valuable continuing support from the National Eisteddfod...”

Future generations of Welsh journalists

Iwan said: “Llais y Maes is a fantastic and exciting project, and we are pleased to be in partnership with JOMEC, bringing ITV Cymru Wales' experience for the benefit of future generations of Welsh journalists.

“We look forward to producing great content at this year's Eisteddfod that will hopefully offer a different perspective.”

JOMEC alumni Glesni Euros is one of the ITV Cymru Wales team of journalists who will be supporting Llais y Maes at the Eisteddfod.

Glesni said: “I am really looking forward to joining the Llais y Maes crew at this year’s Eisteddfod.

“It will be so exciting to work with JOMEC’s enthusiastic students and lecturers to create a quality digital service from the Maes.”

Hannah Pearce, who took part in Llais y Maes at the 2015 Eisteddfod, has since landed her ideal job working on S4C’s Newyddion 9 news programme, which is produced by BBC Cymru Wales.

Alex Jones and our Llais y Maes student at the 2015 Eisteddfod

Hannah said: “Llais y Maeswas a great experience from start to finish. The experience gave us the chance to conduct interviews, find stories, as well as an opportunity to learn how to manage and lead a team, as everyone had the opportunity to be the editor of the day during the week. I had the opportunity to do things I didn’t think I’d ever be allowed to do during my time with Llais y Maes...

Cardiff University’s theme for the 2017 National Eisteddfod is Cardiff Connected – how Cardiff University and its students, staff and alumni are connected to Wales and beyond.

See Cardiff University’s full programme here.

Three of Welsh television’s most influential decision makers will examine whether Wales is portrayed fairly on TV, at a Cardiff University debate at the National Eisteddfod.

BBC Cymru Wales’s Head of Content Production Sian Gwynedd, Angharad Mair, Executive Director of Tinopolis Cymru and BAFTA Cymru chair, and S4C’s Creative Content Director Amanda Rees will discuss whether the media in Wales properly reflects the nation.

The School of Journalism, Media & Cultural Studies (JOMEC) debate, hosted by lecturer and broadcaster Sian Morgan Lloyd, takes place at the Cardiff University tent on Wednesday 9 August at 14:00.

This annual media discussion, now a popular fixture in the National Eisteddfod programme, will include lively debate and an opportunity for the audience to put questions to senior figures in the industry.

A rapidly changing industry

Lloyd said: “We at JOMEC, as part of Cardiff University, relish this annual opportunity at the National Eisteddfod to gather creatives and members of the Welsh language media together for debate.

“There’s no doubt the media is central to our political and cultural life in both languages in Wales but here, as in countries across the world, we are having to adapt daily to the rapid changes facing the industry...”

The discussion comes at a time when broadcasters in Wales are adapting to a constantly changing media environment.

Big investment

BBC Cymru Wales recently announced wide-ranging plans to enhance its services across Wales, which it describes as its “biggest single investment in content in over 20 years”.

The plans feature the creation of 40 new jobs at BBC Wales, including 25 additional journalist posts, and new specialist correspondents to lead in-depth news coverage. The changes will also see the launch of a new Welsh language radio station, Radio Cymru 2, with a new morning service on DAB and digital, and extended FM overage for Radio Wales.

Sian Gwynedd, Head of Content Production for BBC Cymru Wales, said: “The challenge for broadcasters is to respond to the revolution in the viewing habits of our audiences and the demand for programmes and services on various platforms.

Authentic and relevant

S4C is similarly adapting to the ever changing needs of modern audiences to ensure an “authentic and relevant” portrayal of Wales in its future content.

S4C Creative Content Director, Amanda Rees said: "In regular feedback from viewers, during public meetings and surveys, we are told consistently that S4C has strengths above other channels when reflecting Wales and the Welsh people.  This is something we take great pride in and is at the forefront of our minds when commissioning and shaping our service.”

Rees said S4C strived to ensure all its commissioning decisions were informed by the questions “Why now? Why Wales?”.

“But, as you know, S4C's role is just a part of the landscape of the media in Wales, and I look forward to a positive discussion to explore what more can be done as a collective to give Wales a greater voice beyond our borders.”

The future

Angharad Mair said she was “disheartened” to have to discuss yet again if Wales was being portrayed fairly on television.

“Even sadder is that the situation seems to be getting worse,” said Mair.

“Thanks to Cardiff University for ensuring a discussion on a serious issue which is undermining democracy in Wales.”

Cardiff University’s theme for the 2017 National Eisteddfod is Cardiff Connected – how Cardiff University and its students, staff and alumni are connected to Wales and beyond.

See Cardiff University’s full programme here.

The 2017 general election provided seismic shocks, but why did little change in Wales where Labour won for the 26th time in a row?

Cardiff University political expert Professor Roger Scully examines the fall-out from the election at 14:30 on Tuesday 8 August in the Societies 2 tent at the National Eisteddfod.

Professor Scully, who will look in depth at the post-electoral landscape in Wales, said the snap election dismantled “much of what we thought we knew”.

Roger Scully

But in Wales, despite an early Cardiff University/ITV Wales poll putting the Conservatives ahead, the electorate reverted to type on polling day.

“The last time Labour lost a general election in Wales was in 1918. David Lloyd George was the last person to beat them,” said Professor Scully, Acting Director of Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre.

“At the start of the campaign we had a poll putting the Conservatives 10 points ahead in Wales.

“It was reported in the Times of India and we had Australian documentary makers showing up at the office, but Labour managed to turn it around.”

Carwyn Jones and Jeremy Corbyn

Professor Scully pointed out that Welsh Labour kept a firm grip on the campaign in Wales, pushing Welsh Labour leader Carwyn Jones rather than party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Meanwhile Tory fortunes in Wales soon faded after that remarkable polling peak in April.

“At the start of the campaign Theresa May was still enjoying her honeymoon period and was a long way ahead in personality ratings,” said Professor Scully.

“But her personal ratings fell substantially.”

Professor Scully said an interesting feature of the campaign was how traditional British party politics had been partly submerged by very distinctive campaigns in Wales and Scotland.

While Welsh Labour pushed its own agenda driven by its First Minister, the focus in Scotland was on independence and the possibility of a second referendum.

“I think we saw the hollowing out of a genuinely British party politics,” added Professor Scully.

The most important election for a generation

But one issue that cannot be ignored is Brexit. The true significance of the election may hinge on whether it has irrevocably affected the UK Government’s approach to exiting the EU.

Professor Scully said a large majority for Theresa May would have been interpreted as an endorsement of a hard Brexit. However he said the hung parliament that resulted may now force the Prime Minister to change course and accept a more “gentle” exit.

“Every general election is called the ‘most important election for a generation’ by the politicians fighting it. But if the outcome of the 2017 election leads to a fundamental change of course on Brexit, it will actually deserve that title,” he said.

Cardiff University’s theme for the 2017 National Eisteddfod is Cardiff Connected – how Cardiff University and its students, staff and alumni are connected to Wales and beyond.

A leading political expert from Cardiff University is to present the first detailed analysis of what really happened in Wales during the dramatic EU referendum.

Professor Richard Wyn Jones’s special lecture at the National Eisteddfod will explain why Wales voted for Brexit despite benefiting from the EU by around £245m each year.

Professor Jones said his research revealed remarkable differences of opinion within Wales on the question of EU membership, these differences reflecting the different senses of national identity that exist among the country’s population.

He promised that by the end of the lecture “people will start to understand Welsh politics in a different way”.

Professor Richard Wyn Jones at Eisteddfod 2015

“This will be the first attempt to explain the EU referendum result in Wales which seemed to take many people by surprise,” said Professor Jones.

“I’ll be showing some dramatic differences in opinion within Wales related to different senses of national identity among the Welsh population.”

The lecture takes place at Societies Tent 1 at 11:00 on Thursday 10 August.

This year’s National Eisteddfod takes place in Anglesey from 4-12 August.

Cardiff University’s theme for the 2017 National Eisteddfod is Cardiff Connected – how Cardiff University and its students, staff and alumni are connected to Wales and beyond.

See Cardiff University’s full programme here.

Some of Cardiff University’s highest profile experts will be on hand at this year’s National Eisteddfod to make sense of a tumultuous period that will affect Wales for generations.

The seismic impact of Brexit, the repercussions of the remarkable 2017 snap election and the future of devolution in Wales are just some of the substantial issues to be tackled.

The University’s political talks and discussions will complement a range of other events focused on Welsh language and culture.

This year’s National Eisteddfod takes place in Anglesey from 4-12 August.

National identity

Professor Richard Wyn Jones at Eisteddfod 2015

Cardiff University political expert Professor Richard Wyn Jones presents the first detailed analysis of what really happened in Wales during the dramatic EU referendum, in a special lecture at 11:00 on Thursday 10 August in the Societies 1 tent.

Professor Jones seeks to explain why more than half the people of Wales voted to leave the European Union despite being in a part of the UK that benefits most from EU membership.

He will reveal dramatic differences of opinion in Wales depending upon attitudes to national identity.

The latest developments in the Brexit process are the subject of a Wales Governance Centre discussion at the Cardiff University tent, also on 10 August (13:00), as Dr Huw Pritchard, Manon George and Ed Poole seek to explain this most complex of uncouplings.

Political expert Professor Roger Scully, Acting Director of Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre, said the general election provided some notable upsets and could reasonably be described as the “most important for a generation”.

Professor Roger Scully

He examines the fall-out from the June poll, including its effect on Brexit and why Labour won in Wales for the 26th time in a row, at 14:30 on Tuesday 8 August in the Societies 2 tent.

Anglesey and the Assembly

Rhun ap Iorwerth, Assembly Member for Ynys Môn, offers his thoughts on Brexit, Anglesey and the future direction of Welsh politics at 16:00 on Wednesday 9 August in the Cardiff University tent.

Anglesey and the Assembly has been organised in partnership with ITV Cymru Wales and will see the Plaid Cymru AM in conversation with Y Byd ar Bedwar.

Devolution is further under the microscope when Professor Jones and National Assembly for Wales Presiding Officer Elin Jones, AM for Ceredigion, examine two decades of the transfer of powers from Westminster to Wales.

The discussion, chaired by BBC Cymru Wales broadcaster Dewi Llwyd and jointly organised by Cardiff University, BBC Cymru Wales and the National Assembly, takes place in the Societies 2 tent at 11:30 on Friday 11 August.

Crowd member asks question at 2015 Eisteddfod

This year’s Cardiff University media debate - at 14:00 on Wednesday 9 August - will be chaired by the School of Journalism, Media & Cultural Studies’ Sian Morgan Lloyd, who asks whether Wales is portrayed fairly on television.

The panel of industry leaders features Sian Gwynedd, Head of Content Production at BBC Cymru Wales; Amanda Rees, Creative Content Director at S4C; and Angharad Mair, Executive Director of Tinopolis and Chair of BAFTA Cymru.

Radio has its turn in the spotlight when BBC Radio Cymru Editor Betsan Powys gives further details about exciting plans for a new Welsh language radio station.

Find out what is planned for BBC Radio Cymru 2, at the Cardiff University tent at 15:00 on Tuesday 8 August.

Llais y Maes

Alex Jones and our Llais y Maes student at the 2015 Eisteddfod

The University’s exciting Llais y Maes (Voice of the Maes) digital news service returns for its fifth appearance, in partnership with S4C, ITV Cymru Wales and the National Eisteddfod.

Cardiff University students studying at the School of Journalism, Media & Cultural Studies will work alongside industry professionals to create unique multi-platform content from the Maes.

The School of Welsh’s Dr Siwan Rosser will be joined by leading names from media and publishing in Wales to discuss how to engage young audiences with storytelling across print, media and digital platforms (Cardiff University tent, Friday 11 August at 13:00)

Anglesey-specific presentations also feature strongly including a talk by Dr Llion Pryderi Roberts, School of Welsh, on the contribution of Sir John Morris-Jones, eisteddfodic adjudicator and literary critic (Cardiff University tent, Monday 7 August at 14:00).

Dr Awen Iorweth delivering Welsh language lecture

The School of Medicine’s Dr Awen Iorwerth – who delivered the first ever medical lecture in Welsh earlier this year at Cardiff University - looks at Anglesey’s role in producing distinguished doctors and how a new generation can be similarly inspired (Societies 2 tent, Thursday 10 August at 16:30).

And sure to spark debate at the Cardiff University tent is a talk by Siôn Llewelyn Jones, from the School of Social Sciences, who asks whether Welsh-medium schools in south-east Wales are “middle class” (Thursday 10 August at 16:00).

Cardiff University’s theme for the 2017 National Eisteddfod is Cardiff Connected – how Cardiff University and its students, staff and alumni are connected to Wales and beyond.

Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC) is one of just four projects shortlisted for this year’s National Eisteddfod Gold Medal for Architecture.

The Gold Medal for Architecture recognises the importance of architecture in the nation's culture and celebrates the highest standards of architectural design in the country.

The shortlist of four building projects, located across Wales, was unveiled at a reception hosted by the National Eisteddfod of Wales and supported by the Design Commission for Wales and Royal Society of Architects.

After further deliberation over the coming month, just one of the shortlisted buildings may be awarded the Gold Medal for Architecture on 5 August 2017 at the National Eisteddfod of Wales in Anglesey.

CUBRIC, designed by the global IBI Group, has already won a clutch of awards including Project of the Year and Design through Innovation at the 2017 RICS Awards and a major science buildings award at the 2017 S-Lab Awards.

CUBRIC is home to powerful MRI scanning facilities, brain stimulation equipment, sleep laboratories, modern offices and break-out spaces.

The £44m facility was officially opened by Her Majesty The Queen in 2016.

A jeweller from Neath has been chosen as the designer who will create the Crown for next year’s National Eisteddfod in Cardiff.

Laura Thomas, 34, said she wanted her design to be contemporary and unique yet respectful of the Eisteddfod’s traditions.

Designing and creating the Crown – which is sponsored by Cardiff University in 2018 - will fulfil a long-standing ambition for the jewellery designer.

Laura said: “I have always wanted to design and make a Crown and I’m really excited...”

“I go to the Eisteddfod every year and once played the recorder in the orchestra at the Eisteddfod when I was at primary school!”

The Crown is a major National Eisteddfod honour and is presented to the winner of one of the two major poetry competitions.

Laura was chosen ahead of several high-quality designers following a competition led by Cardiff University.

She will now finalise her design before starting work ahead of the National Eisteddfod in Cardiff in 2018.

Parquetry jewellery

Parquetry

Laura, who studied jewellery design at Central Saint Martins in London, works for Mari Thomas Jewellery in Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire, and also creates her own jewellery and collections.

Her jewellery work involves parquetry where she inlays wood veneer into sterling silver, a technique that will feature in the Crown.

Silver necklace

“We’re finalising the design at the moment. I’ve seen a lot of Crown photos and I haven’t seen one with this technique applied before,” she said.

Professor Hywel Thomas, Cardiff University Pro Vice-Chancellor, Research, Innovation and Engagement, said: “As a proud Welsh university, we’re delighted to be able to play a prominent role by sponsoring the Crown...”