Friday, 24 June 2011

Stop The Cuts at Glasgow University

Over recent months, I have taken part in the consultation process on the future of various courses at the University of Glasgow. On Wednesday 22nd June, I attended the rally outside the meeting of the University's Court where reports prepared following the consultation were presented for ratification.

Whilst it is excellent news that the Adult and Continuing Education programme (DACE) will continue its programme. I am remain concerned about the proposal to remove the share of the teaching grant and that DACE should become ‘self-sufficient’ within three years. This may result in a privatisation of the programme, which leaves uncertainty for students and staff alike.

Slavonic Studies is faced with closure, but it has to be recognised that there are just two centres of excellence in Central and Eastern European languages and cultures in the whole of Britain: London and Glasgow. Each has its own natural catchment area. Both should be supported. Clearly, many students are not able to afford to live in London. Glasgow has a bright future and can continue to attract students. The language teaching at Glasgow as currently constituted is the best in the world and this high standard of Excellence should be retained not diluted.

I am aware that the provision for the teaching of lesser known languages and cultures will be under threat at Scottish universities, unless the Scottish government funding council provides targeted funding for these strategically important areas of study. Such targeted funding existed in the past in Scotland and still exists in England. I support the parliamentary petition calling on the Scottish government to introduce targeted funding for lesser known languages and cultures.

I am glad that it has been recognised by the University Court that the University of Glasgow, Nursing & Health Care School is one of the best, and is a viable, thriving and profitable department despite it's small intake.

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