As part of our work to assist schools and colleges to be able to make the most of their ERA Licence, we have come to agreements with a number of third party organisations operating approved exchange services which are available for direct access in the classroom. ERA licensees who choose to use these services can then search for copies or clips of programmes for use in lessons.
This week we hear from Mari Fflur, publications Officer at Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol , who talks about their recently launched S4C Archive Exchange Service:
A new partnership between the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol and Welsh-language channel S4C means that students studying through the medium of Welsh will soon be able to access an archive of Welsh-medium television content to support their studies.
Thanks to ERA’s new third-party agreement, the Coleg can now share content from S4C’s archive with lecturers and students within the scope of ERA Licences held by their own educational establishment. This is made possible by the educational establishments which participate in the Coleg holding ERA Licences but sourcing ERA Recordings made on their behalf from the S4C broadcast archives through the Coleg. The Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol seeks to ensure more study opportunities for Welsh medium students – in partnership with the universities. Since 2011, the Coleg has been training, developing and funding new Welsh medium lecturers and encouraging more students to choose to study their whole course or part of their course through the medium of Welsh.
Thanks to the Coleg’s partnership with the universities in Wales, Welsh-medium higher education is expanding fast: over 700 undergraduate degree courses now offer at least a third of the course through the medium of Welsh and nearly 5,000 students study at least part of their course through the medium of Welsh.
But ensuring there are enough resources available to support the learning and teaching can be challenging.
This is why the Coleg is so pleased to be working with ERA and S4C. Established in 1982, S4C is the only Welsh-language TV channel and has broadcast thousands of hours of programming over the years. Until now, its vast archive has largely been out of bounds to lecturers and students. But by taking advantage of ERA’s third-party agreement, at the request of educational establishments using the service offered by the Coleg, it can now host material from S4C’s archive on its resources platform. Registered users will soon be able to view programmes and even entire series by logging on to the Coleg’s ever-expanding resources library, Y Llyfrgell Adnoddau.
The Coleg is excited about seeing how Welsh-medium lecturers come up with imaginative ways of using this newly-available broadcast material in their teaching. Lecturers will shortly be invited to tell us which programmes they’d like to see made available and how they hope to use them.
In a recent pilot project, Dr Huw Williams, a Philosophy Lecturer, and Dr Gethin Matthews, a History lecturer, listed programmes they wished to use for teaching. This unearthed gems such as ‘Min Nos o Ragfyr: Llywelyn ein Llyw Olaf’, an ambitious 1982 docudrama about the final days of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, the last prince of Wales. Both lecturers have clear ideas about how they plan to incorporate the material into their teaching. S4C has also offered up brand new programmes such as a 2016 documentary about Welsh Vietnam war photographer, Philip Jones Griffiths, in order to showcase the kind of material they have available.
Since S4C’s excellent archive already exists, it makes perfect sense to tap into it in order to benefit Welsh-medium students. Although both the Coleg and S4C have limited resources to dedicate to the project, it is hoped that a substantial number of programmes will be made available over the next two or three years. Ultimately, the litmus test has to be the programmes’ use as teaching aids. Here’s hoping that Welsh-medium students will reap the benefits from this new project.