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New Welsh-medium scholarship for Aberystwyth veterinary students in memory of local vet

Pictured: Professor Elizabeth Treasure Vice Chancellor, Elaine Davies, Dr Dylan Phillips

Aberystwyth University has announced a new scholarship for students to study veterinary science through the medium of Welsh, thanks to a generous donation in memory of a local vet.

The scheme is being established following a donation from Elaine Davies’s family to the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, in memory of her father who was a well-known and highly respected vet in the Llandysul area.

The scholarship will be known as the ‘Defi Fet Scholarship’, in memory of DGE Davies, Llandysul.

The successful students will receive £2,500 over a five-year period to study at Wales’s first School of Veterinary Science.

The announcement was made today, Thursday 4 August, at the National Eisteddfod in Tregaron.

Aberystwyth Veterinary School opened its doors to students for the first time in September 2021.

The students there are studying a Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc) degree which is jointly delivered by Aberystwyth University and the Royal Veterinary College (RVC).

As part of the new scholarship, which will be established in conjunction with the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, students will undertake over half of their farm work experience and clinical experience through the medium of Welsh and will take full advantage of the Welsh-medium learning provision on the course at the University.

The new scheme was announced by Aberystwyth University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Elizabeth Treasure.

Professor Elizabeth Treasure said: “Expanding and normalising Welsh-medium provision is absolutely at the heart of our mission as a university and for our School of Veterinary Science. We thank Elaine Davies’s family for its generosity and the Coleg Cymraeg for the important partnership. This will strengthen our Welsh-language offer even further. It will also strengthen the relationship between our students and Welsh vets, creating an additional incentive to work in Wales once they graduate.”

“Agriculture and its associated industries play an important role in the Welsh economy and we as universities have a responsibility to provide the people and the skills that will contribute to ensuring that they succeed for years to come. The School of Veterinary Science at Aberystwyth adds a vital piece to the jigsaw, one that builds resilience in the rural economy through education and research at a time of change and, potentially, major challenges. I am deeply grateful to everyone who has contributed to the realisation of the dream of establishing a school of veterinary science in Wales.”

Elaine Davies, on behalf of the family who made the donation, said:

“My father would be delighted to see the veterinary department in Aberystwyth and, even more, to think that young Welsh speakers have the opportunity to train in this key area in their own language. It is important that we build a new generation of vets who know their people and who can offer their services in Welsh. Offering a good education and providing a service to a community were two cornerstones of Dad’s life and being able to offer this scholarship is a perfect memorial to him.”

The veterinary science course at Aberystwyth provides opportunities for students to study certain aspects of veterinary science through the medium of Welsh, in partnership between the University and the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol.

Dr Dylan Phillips, Senior Manager and Secretary of the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, said:

“The Coleg is delighted to be supporting Welsh-medium provision in Veterinary Science at Aberystwyth University. I would like to thank Elaine and her family for the extremely generous financial donation in memory of her father. The donation will be supporting a student who will study a large proportion of the course in Aberystwyth and on placements on farms and in veterinary practices in Wales, through the medium of Welsh.”

The new scholarship is one of a number of financial support programmes available to students to study veterinary science at Aberystwyth. Further details are available by e-mailing: [email protected]

Students from Aberystwyth’s School of Veterinary Science on the five-year degree spend two years at Aberystwyth University and a subsequent three-year spell at the Hawkshead RVC Campus in Hertfordshire.

The programme covers the full range of animals, from pets to farm animals, in line with all other veterinary programmes.