Scholarship awarded to Aberfan Student

Posted on 9 November 2015
Christie Williams Aberfan

The University is delighted to announce that this year’s recipient of the University of Wales Aberfan Children’s Scholarship is Christie Williams.

Currently studying at Swansea University, Christie will receive a grant of £1,500 to help support her through the next phase of her education 

In 1968, the Welsh Society of San Francisco entrusted the University of Wales with a commemoration fund in memory of the children who died in the Aberfan mining disaster. Two years previously, 116 school children were killed when a colliery spoil heap collapsed into Pantglas Junior School in Aberfan, midway through their morning lesson. A further 28 adults also died in the disaster. Although a small village in the Merthyr valley, this tragedy drew the sympathy of people from across the globe.

The scholarship now serves to encourage and assist students from Aberfan and the surrounding Merthyr Valley, to pursue higher education. It is awarded annually by the University of Wales to a young person of school age whose parents lived in Aberfan at the time of the disaster, or to a person of the same age living in Merthyr.

Currently in her first year, Christie is studying for a degree in Welsh. Having lived in Aberfan all her life, Christie attended Afon Taf High School which is where, while taking her GCSEs, she realised that she wanted to go to University and study the language.

Speaking about her course and time at University so far, Christie said:

“I chose to study Welsh because I loved learning the language when I was 15 years old and I knew then that I wanted to be a fluent Welsh speaker. So far at University it has been an intense couple of months, however I am really enjoying the course and the challenges that it brings. I am looking forward to the year ahead of me.”

Speaking of what being awarded this years’ scholarship means to her, Christie said:

“I really appreciate being granted this award. This grant has enabled me to purchase additional learning materials which I otherwise may have struggled to do so. This money has also helped me pay towards the cost of my accommodation, which I am extremely grateful for, as without this help I may not have been able to live in on campus in Swansea. Overall this grant has enabled me to access things that I wouldn’t have been able to fund myself.”

For more information about the Scholarship, including regulations, please contact

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