Support our Nation today - please donate here
News

Wrexham University apologise for professor’s Welsh road sign jibes

11 Oct 2023 4 minute read
Wrexham University / Professor Hunt’s derogatory comments about bilingual road signs

After a professor at Wrexham University was widely criticised for describing bilingual road signs in Wales as ‘unintelligble’ and ‘potentially dangerous’, the university has issued an apology for his comments and launched an investigation.

After posting the comments on Facebook, Professor Nigel Hunt has been lambasted for his views, with many reacting to his words saying they have submitted official complaints to Wrexham University and how they could scarcely believe a professor at a Welsh University could hold these views.

The furore stems from Professor Hunt’s post in a Facebook group called Department of Petty Rage.

There Prof Hunt, who is a visiting professor at Wrexham University, posted a picture of a bilingual road sign and wrote: “Signs like this. They are confusing as they contain irrelevant and – to most people – unintelligible information. Road signs in two languages are potentially dangerous as it takes longer to determine the message. As most people even in Wales do not understand these signs (the Welsh language is declining despite the attempts to popularise it) then please just use English.”

Now Wrexham University has issued a statement after being inundated with complaints.

A spokesperson for Prifysgol Wrecsam/Wrexham University said: “First and foremost, we would like to apologise for the offence caused by these remarks – and are in the process of investigating this matter internally. We are keen to stress that these comments absolutely do not reflect the views or values of our university or its staff.

“We are proud to be a Welsh institution and are proud of our Welsh history and heritage.

“We are also committed to promoting and celebrating the Welsh language, and are proud to say that more students than ever before have opportunities to study bilingually across a range of our courses at Prifysgol Wrecsam/Wrexham
University, thanks to the implementation of our Welsh Language Academic Strategy and Action Plan in November 2022.

“As an institution, we are also committed to the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011 and as part of the legislation – the Welsh language has equal status with English and must not be treated less favourably.”

Once his post was published Professor Hunt was quickly picked up on his views across social media during the last 24-48 hours.

One poster wrote: How would you cope in a country without a translation?

He replied: ‘Much better. Most languages are intelligible and have a point.’

On X, formerly Twtter, he faced similar criticism.

Ethan Jones wrote: ‘This is an appalling attitude from one of your professors @WrexhamUni

‘Your staff have a duty to treat your Welsh students with respect, calling their language “irrelevant” is certainly not the way to do this.

‘Deeply disappointing.’

Efan ap Ifor posted: ‘This is hugely disappointing to see @WrexhamUni

‘It highlights that not all educated people, that specialise in one field, are well informed people more generally.

‘They aren’t immune to lazy xenophobic tropes or possess values &/or morals that are grounded in inclusiveness.’

Meanwhile, Rhys Gethin added: ‘Could @WrexhamUni clarify if Prof. Nigel Hunt represents the values of the university?

‘Given the university’s recent decision to drop ‘Glyndŵr’ from its name, having a bigoted professor publicly mock the Welsh language and demand the removal of Welsh signage isn’t a good look.’


Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
25 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
1 month ago

Reinstate the name ‘Glyndwr’, show this guy the door and all will be well. Given what he said, I would hazard a guess that he would want the total removal of Gymraeg not just from road signs but from everywhere like the leader of the Abolish Wales party. For someone in the education field to say the language is declining (a 1970s view) to be unaware of the increase in Welsh medium schools is completely staggering. Also, all languages are ‘unintelligible’ if you don’t speak them but he lets all others off the hook and levels this insult at our… Read more »

Mawkernewek
1 month ago
Reply to  Fi yn unig

Their new logo also looks just like the McDonalds logo upside down?

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
1 month ago
Reply to  Fi yn unig

I think it’s completely unacceptable that Glyndŵr was dropped from the university’s name, but also that Wales’ universities were allowed to leave the University of Wales federal structure in order to better pursue neoliberal market oriented policies that have substantially anglicised the university sector in Wales. Due to their nature, universities must have an international outlook, (though this was in part responsible for the loss of reputation of the University of Wales) but surely they should at a fundamental level be serving the needs of the country they are located in? Professor Hunt’s bigotry in this context has another name:… Read more »

Burt from Wrexham / Wrecsam
Burt from Wrexham / Wrecsam
1 month ago
Reply to  Padi Phillips

Unlike yours of course. So what about the individual and collective right and entitlement to freedom of expression? Welsh educational identity is being forced to change and adapt – anglicised as you acknowledge – in order to effectively compete commercially with those other so called academic institutions, also on the academic production line, for a dwindling share of the student market. We cannot cope or compete internationally, because nobody wishes to study at a obscure, low ranking, Welsh University calling itself Glyndwr or Glendower or even Wrexham. Whatever happened to the notion of a University having or enjoying National or… Read more »

Alan Murray
Alan Murray
1 month ago

I was born and raised in Belfast, a city with several ‘languages’ of its own. I lived in Surrey for 12 years and then spent a similar period in Wales, in a rural area with neighbours whose first language was Welsh.

I never found bilingual signs confusing. Indeed, I enjoyed living in a bilingual country with its own distinct culture.

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
1 month ago

Glyndwr University are right to distance themselves from this visiting bigot’s xenophobic comments. They reflect a Blue Books prejudice that fortunately is slowly becoming less common in Wales itself and which is out of sync with the opinion of the majority here, whether Welsh-speaking or not. I would not expect his contract to be renewed. Back to Nottingham with him.

Last edited 1 month ago by Wrexhamian
Alan Williams
1 month ago
Reply to  Wrexhamian

War in Middle East. This is pathetic. Welsh language snobbery. It’s a sign the purpose of it is to inform. English is the majority language. Job done.

Karl
Karl
1 month ago

Remove his driving license, he has proved he is unfit for the roads.He must get in a right state when signs have multiple locations. Professor, buthis brain cannot engage with simple things of filtering. Techniques our brains do automatically in many cases. Either that or we get rid of the English.

adopted cardi
adopted cardi
1 month ago
Reply to  Karl

a danger on the road!!

Richard E
Richard E
1 month ago

Is “ Wrexham University “ as Welsh University anymore or a University in Wales. ? ( currently). Many locally feel it with become a Campus of Chester University which is only 5 miles away ..🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard E

The plot thickens. Watch this space.

Dafydd ap Gryfydd
Dafydd ap Gryfydd
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard E

It’s a cheak calling it a university to be perfectly honest

It’s little more than a mickey mouse college that props up the bottom of the university league tables each year

Richard E
Richard E
1 month ago

Some good social work courses and links to CQC the England Care Inspectorate 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿

Johnny Gamble
Johnny Gamble
1 month ago

The term Nutty Professor comes to mind

Annibendod
Annibendod
1 month ago

Why is this non-entity and his pathetic, bigoted opinion making news headlines in Wales and on the Beeb? Isn’t there anything else happening that is newsworthy? Hmm … let me think! Stop giving bigots the oxygen of publicity! Give me strength!

Last edited 1 month ago by Annibendod
Meic Alger
Meic Alger
1 month ago

What a turd wart!

Riki
Riki
1 month ago

See, people in this nation don’t see the drip, drip, drip attempt at erasing our culture. Because they don’t see tanks driving down the street they think we are all hunky dory, when in reality the war for Britain and its identity has never really ended. It’s a war for the hearts and minds. Unfortunately The Anglo is winning, especially seeing how they have free reins to use our historical identity Un-opposed and control all media.

Cymro Penperllenni
Cymro Penperllenni
1 month ago

And he classes himself as a historian. Should not be allowed to lecture in Wales if his attitude towards and knowledge of the Language is so pitifully poor and I’ll informed.

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
1 month ago

He’s now had his contract terminated.

Last edited 1 month ago by Rhosddu

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.