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Last Updated: Friday, 13 January 2006, 11:14 GMT
History suspended at university
Middlesex University is to suspend its history courses, blaming falling numbers of applicants.

No new history students will be taken on this September, although existing students will be able to continue with their studies.

The university has been trying to cut costs and last month confirmed 175 voluntary redundancies - including 33 academic staff.

It says it will review its history provision over the next year.

A spokeswoman said it was likely it would be reinstated in some form at a later stage.

A statement said: "In light of the pattern of student applications for its current history programmes, Middlesex University has decided to phase out its current history degree and will, therefore, suspend its intake of history students from September 2006".

The university is trying to save 10m in running costs.

Middlesex's student union said it was particularly concerned about the cut because the university is one of the few to offer an undergraduate specialism in black history.

Sean Lang, honorary secretary of the Historical Association, said Middlesex's decision was disappointing.

"We are saddened and think that this is a bad, retrograde step.

"It's a sign of a move among universities, especially new universities, against humanities and towards what are seen as more vocational or business-based courses, which is sad and short-sighted.

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