Welsh snub 'sneering' paper

June 29, 2001

A Bangor University academic's submission to the Welsh Assembly's higher education review has been condemned as "offensive" and "anti-English".

Dafydd Glyn Jones, a reader in Welsh language and literature, suggests that the University of Wales should "nurture a patriotic Welsh elite".

Mr Jones's paper says that if the University of Wales is to establish itself as a great international university it must raise entry standards.

It says the university "must bring the student numbers down, by raising the requirements, to a point where a true system of common external examination can once again be operated".

The university should cater for "talented, enterprising, faithful people who will stay in Wales, work in Wales and serve Wales", the paper adds.

Mr Jones suggests that Welsh students should be offered "a very advantageous price" for their higher education "with no means test or any repayment".

He goes on: "The English in the University of Wales would be hopping mad. But this is not a matter for them. It is a matter for the government of Wales."

The assembly's education and lifelong learning committee, which is conducting the higher education inquiry, has ruled parts of the paper as inadmissible evidence on the grounds that some of its comments could cause offence.

Labour assembly member Alun Pugh told the committee he felt that the paper's arguments and its "anti-English, sneering tone" were "offensive and ill-judged".

Mr Pugh said most miners' sons like himself would be unwelcome at the doors of Mr Jones's proposed institution.

"I wouldn't pass his patriotism test because I'm not Welsh enough... I will console myself with the knowledge that he thinks most of the Welsh people aren't good enough either," he said.

He added: "Students from England will not apply here if they feel they are unwelcome".

Mr Jones was unavailable for comment.

  • Bangor University has entered a "strategic alliance" with the North East Wales Institute to build on areas where the two have cooperated in the past, including health education and information technology networks.

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