Subjects with national value but few students will continue to receive financial support for at least the next five years, writes Harriet Swain.
Minority courses in, for example, West African studies, Korean, Czech, Slovak, paper science, human rights, or Byzantine and Ottoman Studies will receive Pounds 5 million per year from HEFCE from 2000 following a survey to be undertaken this year. Bids will be invited over the summer.
The funding council is to review whether it will continue to support the School of Oriental and African Studies and the School of Slavonic and East European Studies through the minority subjects programme or whether this extra money should be channelled through teaching funding premiums for specialist institutions.
Institutions that now receive money through the separate former Soviet and East European studies programme will have this support extended for a year and will then be able to bid for minority subjects money.