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  • Writer's pictureThe Gaudie

'Biggest mistake of my life': Dozens may transfer if degrees axed

The University could lose out on hundreds of thousands in tuition fees next year

By Josh Pizzuto-Pomaco

Dozens of students studying modern languages have told The Gaudie they will leave the University if language degree programmes are cut.

A survey of forty-five students found that 84% would consider transferring to another university. Twenty-two students said they would definitely transfer, while an additional sixteen said they might leave Aberdeen.

A fee analysis run by The Gaudie has found that if all thirty-eight students decide to transfer next year, the University could lose out on over £325,000 in tuition fees.

That’s before counting the ninety other students on modern language programmes in Years 1-3.

Students have spoken of their confusion and anger at discovering their programmes could be cut as early as next year. 

The University has repeatedly said that all current students will be able to finish their degree, but have not provided any further details. 

One undergraduate home student summed up the feeling among respondents rather well. They said:

“I want to leave as soon as possible. I am not valued and my efforts are being wasted here.”

Another home student added: “The fact that they even considered cutting modern languages, even after all the backlash really makes me think that the university doesn't care about students and what they want. It also feels like the uni doesn't respect my degree at all, and it's quite disheartening.”

If the plans go ahead, nine in ten language students we surveyed said they would not return to the University for a postgraduate degree.

One home student told us: “I cannot afford to transfer to another university. I am unsure whether I'd want to do a PGT at UoA now too. I really don't get much choice if we don't get the result we want.”

A second student commented: “I was considering studying a relevant masters at Aberdeen but given the current situation there is no way that I would stay to study here.”

A third said: “Given the threat to my level of education I would highly consider a transfer. I also had previously considered postgraduate study here, that is now something I will not consider at all and will happily go to another university.”

One student told us that coming to Aberdeen could prove to be “one of the biggest mistakes of my life.”

They said: “I came to UoA because it was the closest Uni to my hometown and Aberdeen has the most reasonable accommodation costs. I received offers from both Glasgow and Edinburgh to study the same course there…”

“If the programmes are cut, I intend to transfer to either Glasgow or Edinburgh as soon as possible.”

A RUK student added: “I am from England so I would have to transfer unis as I cannot just end my degree halfway through. I think it’s shocking! I do not want to transfer at all.”

Another student said: “This is horrible. Who is going to give me back the years and the money I spent on a degree that I might not be allowed to graduate.”

An international student noted: “This decision destroys the lives of staff and students. It is unfair and it is all due to poor management. We don’t deserve it and we want SMT to resign.”

In a statement released to the press over the weekend, a University spokesperson said: 

“The University absolutely understands how passionately colleagues, students and many members of the wider public feel about Modern Languages including Gaelic. The consultation on Modern Languages was launched to address the financial unsustainability of current provision (losses of over £1.5m a year). This is the result of low and declining recruitment to degree programmes in Modern Languages at Aberdeen.

“The University has always made clear that it will continue to teach and value languages, and we are grateful to all those who are sending us their views and ideas on how we can do this in a sustainable way. The University Court will discuss the consultation underway with regard to future provision in Modern Languages at its meeting on Tuesday.”


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