Hull Languages department faces closure as they consider not taking students next academic year
The university have confirmed it is a ‘possibility’
The Hull University Languages department held a meeting with all languages students last week to inform them of the potential closure of the department, The Hull Tab can reveal.
At the meeting, which took place on the 28th November, students were informed the Languages department (with the exception of Chinese studies) may stop taking on new students from the next academic year due to department funding concerns. Lecturers informed students that whilst the move is not yet certain, it looks "likely".
Responding to the news, language students have started a petition to ensure the department stays open and held meetings with the Dean for Student Experience who confirmed the situation is "under review".
In a statement to The Tab Hull, the university said they are currently reviewing their 2019 programmes (as per many other universities) to "make sure we continue to meet the needs of our students, research and business partners and communities. As part of that, the Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education are currently reviewing Modern languages, with the exception of Chinese Studies."
Crucially, the university noted the review may mean there is "a possibility that we will not be recruiting new students onto some Modern Languages… courses in 2019" but that "this review will not affect current students".
A Councillor of Scrutiny at the University Union told The Tab Hull, that if cuts to departments go ahead "the Union will obviously oppose this, and I think we should make that clear now".
According to one student who attended the meeting, lectures described the process as a "teach out" movement, meaning they will carry on teaching students already at the university, but won't take any more on once the current cohort have graduated, until eventually no language courses (except Chinese Studies) are taught.
The University Union refused to confirm, merely stating their priority is "to represent current students and ensure they have accurate information throughout this process and that their questions and concerns are addressed. All students can continue to give feedback on their education via our Student Reps (Faculty, Department or Course Reps) or directly with the Student President team.”
This news comes amongst other universities, whose identity has not yet been revealed, struggling under financial pressures. Last month the i paper reported three UK universities on the brink of bankruptcy and one university also received a £1 million bailout from the higher education watchdog.
The Tab Hull reached out to Languages staff members for comment.