Modern Languages has highest employability rate in Arts
The criteria and rationale for job cuts and the loss of courses needs greater scrutiny. As a colleague in one area marked for closure explains:
“Modern Languages has the highest employability rate of any School in Arts and is 8th overall within the institution It was therefore ironic to see Ulster University’s new Vice Chancellor, Prof. Paddy Nixon, on TV on Wednesday (2nd September) stating that UU needed courses to produce “industry ready graduates” when he was shutting down one of the most successful in that field.
“This is a view that has been reinforced by the employers who have contributed to the Facebook page and petition which has sprung up to challenge the closure of the School of Modern Languages.”
“Student satisfaction seems to have played little part in the decision to close the School. For instance, in Spanish, student satisfaction at 92% is above Ulster University’s and the national average, and the subject came 15th out of 55 in the Times Good Student Guide.
“As for recruitment, Prof. Nixon stated that ‘languages were not as popular as you might expect.’ Languages has 43 students coming into 1st year!
“The impact on the internationalisation of the university and the damage to DEL policy stipulated in its Graduating for Success was not even alluded to.’
The Graduating for Success document, launched by Employment and Learning Minister, Dr Stephen Farry in April 2014 is clear:
“In supporting employability, the Department welcomes the recommendations put forward
in Languages for the Future: The Northern Ireland Languages Strategy, commissioned by the Department of Education, for all higher education providers to offer extended training in language competence. The Department encourages the institutions to address their language strategies through their corporate planning processes and to expand provision for all learners, thus improving their employment prospects.”