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25 October 2023

First winner of 'Defi Fet' Veterinary Scholarship announced


Elan Haf Henderson from Llandwrog is the winner of the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol 'Defi Fet' Scholarship.

The scholarship, worth £2,500 over a five-year period, is given to support a student studying veterinary medicine through the medium of Welsh at Wales' first School of Veterinary Science at Aberystwyth University.

The scholarship was established jointly between the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol and Aberystwyth University in memory of a well-known and respected vet from the Llandysul area, the late DGE Davies, known locally as Defi Fet. The Coleg received a generous donation from his daughter, Elaine Davies, and her family to establish the scheme which will contribute to nurturing a new generation of Welsh-medium professional vets in Wales.

As part of the new scholarship, Elan will partake in half of her farm and clinical work experience through the medium of Welsh, as well as taking full advantage of Welsh-medium provision in years 1 and 2 of the course at Aberystwyth University supported by the Coleg Cymraeg ‘Sbarduno’ grant.

I have lived abroad for much of my childhood which has reinforced my passion for Wales and the Welsh language.

Elan grew up in the Middle East after her parents moved from Llandurog to Abu Dhabi for her father's career when she was six years old. She moved back to Wales to study for her GCSEs and A Levels, and this term she started her Veterinary Course at Aberystwyth University. Elan is thrilled to study through the medium of Welsh for the first time:

"I am privileged to be selected as the winner of the 'Defi Fet' Scholarship. I am very grateful to DGE Davies’ family, the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol and Aberystwyth University for establishing the scholarship which gives me the opportunity to train in the field in my mother tongue. I have lived abroad for much of my childhood which has reinforced my passion for Wales and the Welsh language. I look forward to working in the community as a vet through the medium of Welsh in the future."

Professor Darrell Abernethy, Head of Aberystwyth University's School of Veterinary Science, said:

"Congratulations to Elan who fully deserves this prestigious scholarship. We would also like to thank Elaine and the family for their generous support. A core part of our vision for Wales' first School of Veterinary Science here in Aberystwyth is a School that serves the needs of Wales. Students like Elan are a particular example of the School's importance in that regard. We are extremely grateful to the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol for their support of our Welsh language provision.

"Agriculture and associated industries play an important role in the Welsh economy and we have a responsibility to provide people with the skills that will contribute to making them successful for years to come. The School adds a crucial new piece to the jigsaw puzzle, one that builds resilience in the rural economy through education and research in times of change and potential major challenges." 

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

"On behalf of the Coleg, I would like to congratulate Elan on winning the Defi Fet scholarship, and wish her every success in the future as she studies veterinary medicine at Aberystwyth University and subsequently at the RVC in London. I would like to say a big thank you to Elaine and her family for the incredibly generous financial donation in memory of her father, who will support Elan over the five years. The gift allows us to support a student each year for the next 15 years to study a portion of their course through the medium of Welsh. With a higher percentage of workers able to speak Welsh in the agricultural sector than in any other sector in Wales, it is important that we nurture graduates who are suitably skilled for the demands of farming."

For more information or to apply for the 'Defi Fet' Veterinary Scholarship for the 2024-25 academic year visit the Coleg’s website. The application window closes on 24 January 2024.