University of Hull's language degrees suspension 'damaging'

University of Hull Image copyright University of Hull
Image caption The university said it was reviewing its 2019 modern languages programmes except for Chinese

A university's decision to suspend student recruitment onto some of its language courses has been described as a "damaging retrograde move".

Nearly 200 academics across the UK have signed an open letter criticising the University of Hull.

Last month the university said it was reviewing its 2019 modern languages programmes except for Chinese.

In the letter, the University Council for Modern Languages (UCML) urged management to "reinstate recruitment".

The University of Hull has been approached for a comment.

The letter, which was written by the UCML and posted on Facebook, included signatures by senior academics from the Russell Group of leading universities.

In it, the UCML expressed "grave concern" over the university's decision.

'Seek alternative strategies'

"We consider this to be a retrograde move that damages not only the reputation and standing of the University of Hull but is indicative of a broader devaluing of modern languages in the UK at the current time.

"Languages at Hull has been in the vanguard of modern languages research from the 1960s onwards, leading in the area of languages and cultural studies."

It went on to say that the university's "withdrawal of support" for languages was "out of step with overwhelming evidence on the need for the University sector - regionally and nationally - to help close the UK's 'language deficit'".

It also urged the university to "seek alternative strategies".

University of Hull's Registrar and Secretary Jeannette Strachan previously said its review would not affect current students.

"Our priority is for all our students to have a high quality academic experience and ensure that their qualification holds value over time.

"We regularly review our portfolio and will continue to do so to ensure a sustainable and high quality university that meets the needs of our students, research and business partners," it added.

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