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Read our latest Welsh Festivals news.

An annual festival in Cardiff showcasing Welsh language arts and culture, which is sponsored by the University, is celebrating a major milestone

An estimated 25,000 people are expected to descend on this year's 10th Tafwyl, which takes place in the grounds of Cardiff Castle.

The festival itself takes place on July 4 and 5 and offers live music, literature, drama, comedy and sport alongside street food and drink.

Entry to the castle is free and everyone is invited, Welsh speaker or otherwise.

A substantial fringe runs from June 26 featuring events around the city including gigs, art, animation and activities for children.

The University is the main sponsor of Tafwyl, which is part of our continued commitment to the Welsh language.

The three-year sponsorship builds on the University's existing links with the festival and its organiser, Menter Caerdydd, which promotes the use of the language in Cardiff's communities.

Tafwyl started in 2006 and has grown considerably over the past decade.

This year's event includes a second day at the castle due to demand and the extra funding provided by the Welsh Government.

The event is supported by ambassadors such as Alex Jones (One Show), Rhys Patchell (Cardiff Blues), Matthew Rhys (Actor) and Huw Stephens (BBC Radio 1 presenter).

The Pobl Caerdydd Welsh language digital news service – which is supported by the University's Community Journalism flagship engagement project - has a stand at the event.

If you have news or views about what is happening in the city, visit the stand and let the team know or find out how you can get involved. Pobl Caerdydd was launched at Tafwyl in 2013.

The University will also once again have a major presence at this year's National Eisteddfod, which runs from August 1 to 8 at Meifod in Montgomeryshire, Powys.

Please visit our marquee or come along to watch or take part in our talks, discussions and events.

Local community set to delve deeper into Cardiff's 6,000 year old history

A major excavation of a prehistoric Welsh hillfort will get underway today (22 June), with local residents at the centre of efforts to uncover the prehistoric origins of Cardiff.

Over the next four weeks, around 200 members of the Caerau and Ely community will work alongside Cardiff University archaeologists to excavate Caerau Hillfort, one of Wales' most significant yet least well-known heritage sites.

This year's dig follows hugely successful excavations in 2013 and 2014, during which remarkable discoveries were made revealing occupation at the site to have stretched from the Bronze Age through to the late Roman era and beyond.

Among the finds were five large Iron Age roundhouses, a roadway, extensive assemblages of Iron Age and Roman pottery, and a decorated Iron Age glass bead.

Before the establishment of the CAER heritage project – which is a collaboration between the University's School of History, Archaeology and Religion and community organisation Action Caerau and Ely (ACE) - the hillfort had largely been overlooked by archaeologists, meaning little was known about its significance, with much of its magnificent ramparts hidden behind trees.

Until 2014, archaeologists were unaware that the site was occupied as far back as the Stone Age - predating the construction of the hillfort by several thousand years. But fascinating archaeological discoveries at last summer's excavation uncovered a wealth of Neolithic finds, including a number of flint tools and weapons dating to around 3,600 BC.

The excavations form one part of the project, which aims to provide the community with deeper insight into their heritage and the area's fascinating past, while simultaneously enabling them to gain new skills and build confidence and community cohesion.

Over the last three years, the project has seen more than 2,000 community members - including school pupils, young people facing exclusion, the long-term unemployed and retired people – co-working with University researchers to uncover vital details about their prehistoric ancestors.

Community members are active participants at every stage in the process, including excavation, geophysical surveying, post-excavation analysis, as well as supporting creative artistic and historical research initiatives.

Project co-director, Dr Dave Wyatt, from Cardiff University's School of History, Archaeology and Religion, said: "Last year some mind-blowing discoveries were made, which pushed back the origins of Cardiff deep into time, but we believe we're still just scratching the surface of this incredible site, so who knows what will be uncovered this year.

"The project's objective has always been using archaeology to help the people of Caerau and Ely connect with their heritage, making it relevant to the present day as well as educating and challenging stereotypes that are unfairly attached to this part of Cardiff.

 "But its significance is far-reaching in other ways, too. In terms of archaeological exploration and discovery, the past four years have far surpassed our expectations, with some internationally-significant finds helping us piece together thousands of years of history.

"Given that the site is five hectares in size, we're hopeful that the best is yet to come, and there's a palpable sense of anticipation among the research team. This year, side by side with the local community, we hope to be at the forefront of the discovery of further prehistoric archaeological gems."

Olly Davies, from Cardiff University's School of History, Archaeology and Religion, who also co-directs the project, said: "During last year's dig more than 2,000 local people visited the excavations with hundreds involved in the actual archaeological work itself. Our challenge this year is to attract twice as many visitors and to get the people of South Wales to value this amazing site and the remarkable communities that live in its shadow.

 "The CAER heritage project takes an inclusive and open access policy towards archaeological excavation and welcomes the contribution and involvement of all. As always, we warmly welcome people to come along simply to visit or to roll up their sleeves for this important fourth season. People can find out more about how to get involved at the CAER heritage project website or contact us on Facebook or Twitter."

An annual festival which has brought a community together for over 30 years is this year being sponsored by one of the University's flagship engagement projects

Grangetown Festival, which takes place on Saturday June 20th, attracts all ages for a giant party featuring music, a pop-up cinema, a parade, children's activites and much else.

The popular event is being sponsored by the University's Community Gateway project, which is supporting people in Grangetown to make their neighbourhood an even better place to live.

The sponsorship follows a consultation which highlighted that the festival provided one of the few opportunities to bring the communities of Grangetown together.

Community representatives wanted Community Gateway to help develop the event, build relationships and celebrate the best of Grangetown.  

Community Gateway project lead Mhairi McVicar said: "It's a great opportunity for us to support the local community, find out what people think about what we should be doing in Grangetown, build relationships and promote the exciting work of Community Gateway.

"Cardiff University is committed to building a long-term partnership with residents of Grangetown to make the area an even better place to live through world-class research, teaching and professional development opportunities."

The festival, which is co-ordinated by residents' group Grangetown Community Action, will kick off at 1pm in Grange Gardens and finish at 5pm. The pop-up cinema will continue the celebrations with the main feature film starting at 5pm.

A second residents' group, Grange Pavilion Project, is opening up the former bowls pavilion and bowling green in Grange Gardens as part of the festival, to continue to explore new ways of using the facilities as a community space.

Resident Richard Powell, of Grange Pavilion Project, said the University, through moral and financial support, was helping the community to achieve local aspirations and come forward with proposals that are "believable and do-able".

Academics from across the University are exploring ways of working in partnership with residents to develop world-class teaching and research to benefit Grangetown.

As well as offering residents the chance to build new relationships and spend time with neighbours, the festival will allow the University to get the word out about Community Gateway and what it has to offer.  

Community Gateway is one of the University's five flagship engagement projects, otherwise known as its Transforming Communities programme.

The University is working with Welsh Government  and communities in Cardiff, Wales and beyond in areas including health, education and wellbeing.

This includes supporting Cardiff city-region, connecting communities through hyperlocal websites, building community engagement models and helping achieve the UN's Millennium Development Goals.

Community Gateway, fellow flagship engagement project Stronger Communities Healthier People and members of the School of Psychology will all have stalls at the festival to promote opportunities for residents to partner with the University.

I was delighted that the Minister for Economy, Science and Transport, Edwina Hart AM, was recently able to visit the site of our £44M Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC)

Once completed, CUBRIC will lead Europe in helping scientists understand the causes of dementia and other debilitating brain conditions. The local economy will benefit immediately, but soon the medical advances coming out of the flagship building will be felt across Wales and around the world. 

Visiting Wales for the first time since securing an overall majority, Prime Minister David Cameron emphasised how important it is that the whole of Wales benefits from the country's economic recovery.

It is a message endorsed by all political parties and one we strongly support at Cardiff University.

For the first time we have undertaken research to find out more about our economic impact on both our local and the wider Welsh economy.

We have found it extends well beyond the capital city, with nearly one-third of all economic impact occurring outside Cardiff and in all other counties of Wales.

The research echoes work undertaken by Universities Wales back in 2011/12, which showed just how critical Welsh universities are to the Welsh economy. Indeed it found them to have a greater impact than higher education does in the English regions.

In all, Welsh universities generated £3.6BN for the Welsh economy, accounting for £400M in export earnings.

Our research for 2013/14 indicates that Cardiff University accounts for a significant part of this. In total, the University now generates some 13,555 Welsh jobs and contributes 1.3 per cent of Welsh GVA.

Cardiff University's own output is £456M, but its knock-on effect, largely through the expenditure of its students, generates an additional £613M in other industries throughout the UK, with the majority – some £458M – in Wales.

The University attracts 12,045 students to Wales from other parts of the UK and 6,605 students from outside the UK. Our non-EU students alone generate £94M for the Welsh economy, accounting for nearly 800 full-time equivalent jobs.

Whilst the majority of our economic impact is felt in Cardiff, I was struck by the significant effect on the Welsh economy more generally, with nearly one-third of all economic impact occurring outside Cardiff. This reflects the way in which our influence ripples through both the Welsh and the wider UK economy, so that even locations relatively distant from Cardiff still benefit from the University's activities.

It is a record we are proud of, but we want to do more.

Last October I outlined plans for a new Cardiff Innovation System. We aim to become an internationally recognised engine for future prosperity, health and growth in Wales, the UK and the wider world.

Around £300M will be invested in new buildings to bring this vision to life, hand-in-hand with changes we're making to ensure innovation is woven into the fabric of the University.

This includes plans to build the world's first Social Science Research Park, which will be able to turn world-leading research into solutions to pressing problems facing society and the world.

We will work in partnership with key stakeholders and invest in facilities and people.

In a few days' time, our work to drive the economy will be showcased at our annual Innovation and Impact Awards.

New data modelling that is helping to cut queues and speed up access to vital NHS hospital services and new affordable home design which optimises energy self-sufficiency are just two of the advances recently made at Cardiff University. I'm proud of the work we do with homeless charity Llamau to improve service provision for vulnerable and homeless young people in Wales. All these projects and more will be recognised for their contribution to Wales and impact on society at large.

The new report shows that we have something to celebrate. Cardiff University is critical to the future health, wealth and well-being of the people of Wales, and we will not let you down.

Professor Colin Riordan, Vice-Chancellor, Cardiff University

 This article first appeared in the Western Mail, June 11, 2015.

University's impact felt 'in all parts of Wales'

The economic benefits of a leading research-intensive University based in Wales are felt not just in Cardiff but in all parts of Wales, a new report has uncovered. 

A report produced by Viewforth Consulting LTD for the University maps, for the first time, the economic impact of Cardiff University on the local and wider Welsh economy.

In total, it finds that Wales's only Russell Group research-intensive University, together with the expenditure of its international students and students from the rest of the UK, generates some 13,355 jobs in Wales – or equivalent to nearly one per cent of all 2013 Welsh employment and 1.3 per cent of Welsh GVA (Gross Value Added).  

"We know universities play a key role in supporting economic growth, improving opportunities, creating jobs and providing benefits for local communities, and promoting invention and innovation," according to the University's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Riordan.

"However, what this report does for the very first time is to drill down at a local, national and UK level to provide a real insight into the key role Cardiff University plays in the economy of Cardiff, Wales and the wider UK," he adds.

The key highlights of the report include:

  • The University attracts 12,045 students to Wales from other parts of the UK
  • The University attracts 6,605 students to Wales from outside the UK
  • Overall, Cardiff University together with the expenditure of its international students and students from the rest of the UK, generates 13,355 jobs
  • The University generates a total of £168M in export earnings
  • The University's output amounts to £456M with a knock-on effect of an additional £613M in other industries throughout the UK, with the majority (£458M) in Wales. Non-EU students alone generate £94M of output to the Welsh economy
  • The University alone generated £518M of Wales's GVA. The total combined impact on Wales GVA of the University and its students comes to £696M. This was the equivalent to 1.34 per cent of all 2013 Wales GVA.

"It is clear that by attracting students from further afield to study in Wales, the University is attracting additional money into Wales and boosting export earnings.

"The study shows that Cardiff University is of significant economic importance to the Welsh economy bringing immediate benefits to Wales in terms of output generated, jobs created and its contribution to Welsh GVA.

"Whilst the majority of our economic impact is felt in Cardiff, the University also has a significant effect in the economy of other parts of Wales, with nearly one-third of all economic impact occurring outside of Cardiff and in all other counties of Wales.

"This reflects the way in which expenditure impact ripples through the economy, so that even locations relatively distant from Cardiff will still have benefits from the University's activities," Professor Riordan added.

Cardiff University recently recorded its best ever results for its research and is ranked the fifth best amongst UK universities for research excellence and second for its research impact.

With ambitious plans to roll-out a new £300M innovation campus, it also plans to be one of the world's top 100 universities and top 20 in the UK by 2017.

Later this year, Cardiff will release a further report looking at the wider impact of the University.

Cardiff University, alongside partner universities Swansea and Bangor, has been awarded £2,249,927 to lead the National Centre for Population Health and Wellbeing Research (NCPHWR), an all-Wales Research Centre

The funding from Health and Care Research Wales will support the centre's aim to make a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of the population of Wales through applied research. This will be the first time that population health research has been coordinated in the country.

The research centre is set to make Wales a world leader in population health science by generating an evidence base for public health policies, services and interventions and implementing findings on a scale that makes a population level impact. 

NCPHWR will co-ordinate multi-institutional, multi-disciplinary, multi-agency health and social care research, collaboration with policy and practitioners, and public involvement across Wales. It will also expand links to leading international population health research groups

The centre will build on existing areas of scientific excellence in Wales with core research themes centred on children and young people and the promotion and maintenance of health through an extended working life.

Professor Simon Murphy from Cardiff University's School of Social Sciences will be leading the Public Health Improvement research programme within NCPHWR. He said: "This programme will build on the decade-long success of the Public Health Improvement Research Network and will also take forward the innovate School Health Research Network. Collaborative aspects of the programme will also see us working on a collaborative body of work with Cardiff University's Children's Social Care Research and Development Centre and Institute of Primary Care and Public Health"

NCPHWR will contribute to Welsh policy goals of giving more children a healthy and safe start in life, reducing inequalities, and adding more years of high quality life. In adults it will focus on improving physical activity and wellbeing in the general population and supporting research into arthritis, asthma, cardiovascular disorders, infection and injuries.

Health and Care Research Wales (formerly the National Institute for Social Care and Health Research) is a national, multi-faceted, virtual organisation funded and overseen by the Welsh Government's Division for Social Care and Health Research.

Researchers from the University will today exhibit their research at the National Assembly for Wales as part of the Royal Society of Chemistry's annual Science and the Assembly event.

Now in its twelfth year, the event is designed to build closer links between the Welsh science and engineering community, Assembly Members (AMs), and the Welsh Government.

Through a number of exhibitions and presentations, academics will look to raise awareness amongst AMs of important developments in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in Wales, and how policy issues impact upon these areas.

Dr Michael Harbottle, from the School of Engineering, will be showcasing the Materials for Life project, which aims to develop a new generation of 'self-healing' materials that continually monitor, regulate, adapt and repair themselves without the need for intervention.

The project, which is a consortium from the Universities of Cardiff, Bath and Cambridge, seeks to gain a fundamental understanding of how materials can be manipulated by taking advantage of innovations in a range scientific disciplines.

The theme for this year's Science and the Assembly event will be 'Energy and the Environment' and will consist of a morning of exhibitions at the Senedd followed by a number of scientific presentations at the Pierhead in the afternoon.

Professor Peter Kille, from the School of Biosciences, will be among the principal speakers at the event, which will be chaired by Professor Peter Knowles from the School of Chemistry.

The Royal Society of Chemistry event is organised in collaboration with a number of sister organisations, including: The Royal Society; the Learned Society of Wales; the Institute of Physics; the Society of Biology; the Royal Astronomical Society; the Geological Society; the Campaign for Science and Engineering; and the Society for General Microbiology.

The importance of skilled and trained Welsh language journalists needed to support a healthy and effective Welsh media industry will be the topic of discussion at a panel event at Cardiff University this week (11 March).

Menna Richards, formerly Managing Director of HTV Wales and also Director BBC Cymru Wales until 2011, will Chair a panel discussion of Welsh journalists and editors to address the shortage of trained Welsh Language journalists and communicators.

The event will mark the launch of Cardiff University's new Joint Honours Welsh and Journalism degree which will mean for the first time, students will have the opportunity to study both subjects through the medium of Welsh.

The new degree which has been designed in response to the high demand for journalists with Welsh language and journalistic skills will combine academic rigour and analysis with opportunities for work experience and practical extra-curricular activities.

The degree will be delivered by Cardiff University's School of Welsh and School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies and is supported by Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol.

Menna Richards said, "There will be a warm welcome for this new Welsh and Journalism degree amongst students and employers. There is a significant demand for Welsh speaking graduates with journalistic skills.

"The School of Welsh at Cardiff University have historically led across several disciplines while the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies has a strong reputation across Britain. The collaboration of these schools along with the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlathol is a guarantee this will be a degree of the highest standard."

Professor Sioned Davies, Head of the School of Welsh, said: "For the first time, Cardiff University students have the opportunity to study Welsh and Journalism with this new and unique course. With the growth and diversification of the media and journalism fields, the call for Welsh speaking graduates who have excellent language skills and journalistic experience has increased.

"It was therefore a natural development that the School of Welsh joined with colleagues in the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies to offer this new course. We thank Menna Richards for agreeing to speak about her experiences and help launch the course with this event. We also thank the panel for their contribution and for lending their voices to the important debate about the future of Welsh language journalism."

The evening's panellists will be:               

Betsan Powys - Programmes Editor, Radio Cymru
Vaughan Roderick - Welsh Affairs Editor, BBC
Siân Morgan - Reporter and Deputy Editor, Y Byd ar Bedwar
Dylan Iorwerth - Editorial Director, Golwg

The University's Centre for Community Journalism and Welsh news magazine Golwg are inviting communities throughout Wales to take part in a new initiative to learn digital journalism and publishing skills in Welsh.

'Digidol ar Daith' will be holding free training sessions in 12 communities from Llangefni to Llandeilo and are urging anyone with an interest in creating and sharing news and information in Welsh to sign up.

Emma Meese, Centre Manager and trainer, said:

"This is a great opportunity for anyone – a club, sports group, papur broor individual – to get first-class training and inspiration and to meet like-minded people in their community.

"The half-day training sessions will be accompanied by practical on-line tutorials and printed guidelines.

"We'll be covering core digital and journalism skills and showing people some of the tools that are available to facilitate the use of major social media and digital channels in Welsh.

"We hope the day will be highly enjoyable and will be the start of some great developments."

Supported by the Welsh Government, the aim is to see more and better Welsh language content on-line and to support vibrant community journalism.

First Minister Carwyn Jones said: "Wales has a proud tradition of sharing community news. This initiative, supported by the Welsh Government, uses the latest digital technology to support the Welsh language as a living, every-day language, and to develop methods to exchange news, views and local knowledge. This will not only promote the language but Will also help make our communities great places to live. "

Training will be delivered by Emma Meese, who is a BBC Social Media trainer as well as manager of the Centre for Community Journalism, and Dylan Iorwerth, Editor Director at Golwg and one of the most respected journalists working in the Welsh language today.

Digidol ar Daith has been developed by the Centre for Community Journalism, a unique fusion of research, community support and training based in the leading School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies.

It is one of the University's flagship engagement projects which aim to share knowledge and expertise for the benefit of communities in Wales.

Training will be held as follows:

Mold - 10 February

Llanrwst - 11 February

Llangefni - 11 February

Caernarfon - 12 February

Porthmadog - 12 February

Builth Wells - 13 February

Aberystwyth - 3 March

Lampeter - 3 March

Whitland - 6 March

Cardiff - 11 March

Llanelli - 13 March

Llandeilo - 13 March