Huddersfield silences modern languages

December 11, 1998

Students in Huddersfield University's department of modern languages were shocked to discover this week that they would be forced to transfer to another university to complete their degree.

University authorities said that as recruitment targets were not being met the department was no longer viable and would shut next year. This leaves first and second-year undergraduates to choose between shifting to another "compatible" Huddersfield degree course or going elsewhere.

A university spokesman said the move did not contravene students' legal rights, but he could not comment on whether other universities had agreed to take the students. The department's nine staff would be redeployed around the university, he said.

A fourth-year student in the department who did not wish to be named said the department's 60 students were taken completely unawares by the news and were shocked and angry. "They seemed not to care," the student said. "They just told us the news cold and left no one around to help us."

Many students would not be able to transfer easily to other universities, the student said. "Students come here for a reason and often it is because they have family commitments locally. Moving away is not an option." She added that students were taking advice on their legal position and intended to fight the decision.

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