THE University of Aberdeen announced on Tuesday that it would continue to offer joint degree programmes in modern languages, althought the future of single honour programmes remains unclear.

The university court - the governing body at the University of Aberdeen - said it had accepted a recommendation during a meeting on Tuesday afternoon which would see the university continue to offer joint degree programmes in languages.

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However, it remains unclear whether single degree programmes will also continue, as the court have extended the consultation period by a month.

Senior management at the university opened a consultation in November to explore three options for the future of provision at the School of Language, Literature, Music and VIsual Culture (LLMVC).

These include:

  • Scrapping single honours degrees in French, Gaelic, German and Spanish and reduce the number of courses required to deliver joint honours programmes
  • Scrap single and joint honours degrees in French, Gaelic, German and Spanish but continue “with language” programmes such as International Business with French
  • Scrap all language programmes with a named language but offer a language as an elective course in first or second year

The court said its recommendation was based on the first of the three options being considered in the consultation, which includes the scrapping of single honours degrees.

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Staff and students at the university have expressed anger at the proposed cuts, with the Aberdeen branch of University College Union (UCU) saying it was "appalled" at the "ill-judged policy".

“UCU members at Aberdeen stand in solidarity with our colleagues and will continue our campaign against the threat to Modern Languages for as long as necessary to see it off," David Clough, vice-chair of the branch told The National.

More than 13,000 people have signed a petition calling on the university’s senior management to rethink their plans.

A rally to protest against the potential cuts was organised by Aberdeen UCU alongside the university's students' association.

At the rally, Aberdeen UCU announced the results of their consultative ballot, with 81% of members saying they would support strike action, and 87% in support of action short of a strike, in response to the proposed cuts. 

This suggests, should a formal ballot be carried out, that it is likely the university will be impacted by industrial action in the new year if senior management does not back down on the cuts. 

The announcement from the university court also states it will now look to consider how it can continue to support research in modern languages, including Gaelic.