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Last Updated: Monday, 22 May 2006, 21:46 GMT 22:46 UK
University axes language degrees
University jobs are to go after the closure of courses in two subjects because too few students have enrolled for the new academic year.

Anglia Ruskin University is to axe degrees in modern languages and also politics with the loss of 20 staff by next summer.

A university spokeswoman said modern languages and politics were no longer viable due to falling applications.

Anglia Ruskin has campus sites in Cambridge, and Chelmsford, Essex.

'Difficult' decision

The university had just two firm acceptances from students for degree courses in modern languages starting this September.

"The numbers of students currently in their first year is less than five each for French and German, and around 15 for Spanish," the spokeswoman said.

"It is unavoidable that the difficult decision is made to withdraw from curriculum areas which are not viable in order to protect the future health of the rest of the faculty and, indeed, the rest of the university."

The university said it had involved unions leading up to "this difficult decision" and would continue to consult them in relation to redundancies.

The spokeswoman added: "Anglia Ruskin's directorate and the board of governors are convinced the decisions are necessary and are satisfied they have been arrived at only after careful and extensive deliberation of the range of issues and options."

University lecturers' union NATFE representative Jenny Golden said: "This is another example of universities being unable to recruit students for language courses because of failures within the education system.

"More government planning is needed to help boost language skills in schools or the country is going to end up with a severe shortage of linguists for business.

"Media studies may be popular now but who is to say that in future lecturers for this subject may be facing redundancy without better government planning for further education."

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