Welsh politics, culture, and language showcased in Cardiff
Chevening Scholars seized the opportunity to learn about Welsh politics, language, and cultural distinctiveness through a trip to the National Assembly for Wales in Cardiff.
The day-long event was part of the 'Best of British presents…’ series of trips which aims to showcase the national identities, cultures, and political institutions of the four constituent nations that make up the United Kingdom.
Our scholars received a warm welcome by Cardiff University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Nora de Leeuw. She spoke of the importance of the relationship between the Chevening and Cardiff University and its role in creating future leaders.
To maximise the scholars' exposure to Wales, they took a lesson in basic Welsh from Professor Sioned Davies. Ever eager to learn, the Cheveners were quick to grasp the Welsh alphabet.
Professor Davies moved onto the more intricate complexities of the language and gave an insight into the history and origins of Welsh. By the end of the session scholars could all say 'thank you very much' in Welsh – Diolch yn Fawr!
After lunch, scholars attended a talk on contemporary Welsh politics given by Professor Roger Scully, Director at the Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University. He described the changes that have occurred in Welsh politics over the last 20 years and the interesting shift in attitudes towards devolution.
Our scholars were then whisked over to the National Assembly for Wales, also called the Senedd to watch a live plenary session and learn more about devolution and its impact on Wales.
'Once in a lifetime opportunity'
‘I think going into the National Assembly is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I would never have seen and learnt all that I had today if it wasn’t for Chevening and all these great people’.
To round off the day, Cheveners were treated to a drinks and networking reception at Portland House. Amidst the myriad of canapes, our scholars had the chance to reflect on everything they’d learnt during the day as well as getting to practise Welsh with each other. Here’s what Cardiff University scholar Lisa Sianyabo thought about the day: