More than 30,000 students across North East Wales will have greater opportunities to study through the medium of Welsh thanks to a three-way educational partnership.
Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol has established a new branch jointly covering Wrexham Glyndwr University and Coleg Cambria.
The organisation works with universities across Wales to help develop Welsh language medium opportunities for students.
Under the new agreement, students and staff will be provided with access to resources for teaching or studying in Welsh.
Branch officer Sioned Roberts will also work with both institutions to champion the use of the Welsh language in everyday business.
The aim is to explore progression routes from further education at Coleg Cambria to higher education at Wrexham Glyndwr University and other Welsh universities where study can be completed entirely in Welsh.
A combined total of more than 30,000 students study at Wrexham Glyndwr University and Coleg Cambria.
Sioned said: “It’s great to see in this particular branch a partnership approach to Welsh language provision between Wrexham Glyndwr University and Coleg Cambria.
“More students than ever before study through the medium of Welsh, and a more substantial part of their courses than ever before are provided through the medium of Welsh.
“Coleg Cymraeg has the resources and support networks in place to enable both organisations to develop their Welsh language provision.”
Currently, it is possible to study more than 1000 courses entirely or partly through Welsh at universities in Wales.
Professor Maria Hinfelaar, Vice-Chancellor of Wrexham Glyndwr University, said: “We are delighted to welcome Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol to Wrexham Glyndwr University.
“North East Wales is a part of Wales which because of geography perhaps doesn’t have as much Welsh spoken in everyday life. We need to make that little bit extra effort to make sure Welsh speakers are catered for equally.”
Andrew Parry, head of Welsh language and affairs at Wrexham Glyndwr University, added: “In Wales we are very proud of our language and traditions. The call for Welsh language education has grown substantially in Wrexham over the last few years and many employers see great advantages in having bilingual employees.
“The higher education sector has also seen a great increase in the number of students studying through the medium of Welsh. As a result of this initiative with Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol the university should be able to allow students to progress from further to higher education studying all through the medium of Welsh.
“The university has a great tradition in Welsh medium education with Cartrefle providing many lectures in Welsh. That provision has gone but we have an opportunity to restore it.”