Posted on 14 December 2018
Strategic Alliance with Jesus College of Oxford in the field of Celtic Studies
The Councils of the University of Wales and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David have announced that both universities will collaborate with Jesus College, Oxford University, as part of a strategic alliance to foster new opportunities to promote Celtic and Welsh Studies.
Building on the work and expertise of the University of Wales’ Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies, Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru: A Dictionary of the Welsh Language and UWTSD’s Faculty of Humanities based in Lampeter, this will be a strategic development over a five-year period that will promote research and teaching at an international level.
Professor Medwin Hughes, DL, Vice Chancellor said "Sir John Rhys's Chair of Celtic is recognised as a major destination for Celtic scholarships around the world. This is a special opportunity to re-establish this historic Chair building on the long tradition that has existed between Wales and Jesus College in the field of Celtic and Welsh Studies.
"Our collaboration with Jesus College offers us a unique opportunity to build academic relationships between the institutions for the benefit of Celtic Studies and the Welsh language at the highest international level," he added.
Dr Mark Williams, a lecturer in the Celtic field at Jesus College, said "This is the world's oldest Celtic Studies chair. At present it is possible to study Welsh in Wales, Irish in Irish and Scottish Gaelic in Scotland - but only here and in Cambridge, in England, is it possible to study all languages together. The resources here are very rich. We have the Red Book of Hergest and two libraries that are full".
Jesus College re-established the historic chair named after Sir John Rhys, who was the first Celtic Professor of Oxford University, in 1877. After an extensive campaign, the College announced that it had reached its goal of funding the Chair. The University of Wales and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David saw the opportunity of building on the academic and scholarship precedent as well as the reputation of both Universities in the field of Celtic and Welsh Studies. "Both Universities have a wealth of resources and expertise in these areas and the strategic alliance between the Universities and Jesus College will be an opportunity for us to move on with our academic plan that will include the development of teaching areas, the strengthening of scholarship and research" Professor Hughes added.