Leeds Metropolitan University plans to cut foreign languages

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Specialist foreign language courses will be reduced at a Leeds university because of cuts in Government funding.

A consultation is currently underway with staff at Leeds Metropolitan University that could see a number of part-time specialist language courses stopped.

The YEP understands there are plans to stop teaching part-time languages such as Finnish, Farsi, Turkish and Hungarian.

The move comes after a funding shortfall from the Higher Education Funding Council for England which enabled the university to charge reduced course costs to students.

The funding was reduced by half at the start of the last academic year but that funding will stop for the next academic year.

It is believed that the university plans to reduce the number of classes teaching students how to speak Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Greek, Portuguese and Polish from the university’s main campus in Leeds.

Specialist language courses, which are run by the university at Rossett in Harrogate, also look set to be stopped.

The YEP understands the cuts also come after a decline in the number of students taking up the courses.

Leeds Metropolitan is believed to be one of a handful of universities across the country to offer such diverse language courses.

Its is understood that the plans could see up to 11 redundancies from part-time staff.

Talks are ongoing between staff who will be affected and representatives from trade unions.

Dr Paul Smith, deputy vice-chancellor strategic development at Leeds Metropolitan, said: “As a result of significant cuts to funding, we are currently undertaking a review of our part-time and community based language provision.

“We are extremely proud of our language provision and the value it offers to our students and the wider community.

“Our Languages for All programme demonstrates our continued commitment to language teaching, with over 700 of our full-time students accessing a free one-year course in language studies.

“We are in the process of consulting with staff and trade unions about the proposals and are confident that our language provision will continue to be sustainable and successful in the future.”

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