Friday, 10 December 2010

HEFCW withdraws funding from University of Wales Press

I would like to comment on a serious issue which poses a very grave risk to the future of scholarship in both the languages of Wales.

The Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) has just announced that it will withdraw its grant to the University of Wales Press (UWP) for publications in the Welsh language or about Welsh culture. This is a disaster for the academic study of Wales and jeopardises the very future of scholarship about Wales in both the languages of Wales.

Without a viable source of funding for academic publishing in Wales, 'Welsh Studies' - that is scholarship about Wales - and scholarship in the Welsh language will be in an untenable position. It will be unable to perform in the Research Evaluation Framework (REF) and unable to take its place on an international platform. In order to understand its culture, interrogate its past and build a meaningful future, Wales needs its researchers and teachers. Without a means to circulate research, scholarship and teaching will fade and die.

We live in a time of pragmatism now. But it is crucial that what is truly important is not lost. We all need to engage to support the present and safeguard the future. There are actions that can be taken. Here's the link to a Facebook group set up to campaign against this move, which discusses live issues and will also give you further information as to what you can do to help..

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