Agony Aunt

March 26, 1999

My department wants to close a three-year course because of a drop in student demand. The problem is we have about 20 students halfway through the first year. What would be the legal position if we offered a transfer to another similar course here?


In common with many other universities, the University of Huddersfield has experienced a sharp decline in applications for "straight" modern languages. Faced with an intake of only seven first-year students in 1997, it took the uncomfortable decision to close its traditional language course and cease recruiting for 1999-2000.

The seven first-years were transferred successfully to other courses at the university with one choosing to take a modern languages course elsewhere. All the others, including those on work or overseas study placements, were allowed to finish.

A new languages unit was formed in the school of music and humanities to deliver language options and modules on various vocational courses.

The unit also strengthened EFL (English as a foreign language) provision to the growing number of European Union and international students coming to Huddersfield.

This refocus allowed the seven staff affected to retain their jobs. The decision took into account the quality of academic experience likely to be offered to students as well as the lack of viability due to low enrolments.

Paul Williams, Press Officer University of Huddersfield.

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