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"Top university language departments face harsh cuts" - Polly Curtis, education editor,, 21 mai 2009

lundi 25 mai 2009, par Elie

Some classes will be scrapped, linguists warn, as funding is diverted to science subjects

Some of the country’s most prestigious universities – including Oxford, Edinburgh and King’s College London – are facing swingeing cuts to their language departments because the government has diverted funding from arts and humanities subjects to protect the sciences.

Oxford University, which is ranked number one in the country for languages, faces a £1m shortfall in its language budget as a result of the new funding allocations, and academics are now working on a financial rescue plan.

European linguists at Edinburgh University have been told to save £400,000 over two years and there are warnings that they will have to scrap some subjects and expand class sizes. Russian, Italian and Portugese are said to be threatened. Students at the university are staging a protest on Monday against the plans in another sign of the rising militant mood on campuses where undergraduates are increasingly demanding better quality classes in return for their fees.

Academics at King’s have confirmed that they face a 20% cut in their government research funding.

The government has acted to protect the funding of science and engineering subjects after the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) – used as the basis for the allocation of research funding – last year. Arts and humanities subjects across the board have suffered, but languages are particularly vulnerable because of the high cost of the intensive teaching they require.

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