Nottingham Trent University cease applications for language courses

On October 16, current Modern Languages students studying at Nottingham Trent University were informed that recruitment for 2020 entry students on these courses would be paused due to a rapid decline in interest.

The news comes after applications for studying Modern Languages at University level has declined nationwide by more than half since 2008.

Across the UK, students applying to study German fell to a low of 615 applicants in 2013, and Italian entries also decreased in interest by 19 percent.

However, Mandarin Chinese contrasted this trend of decreasing interest and has continued to increase in popularity across the country, with employers stating it as the most beneficial language for graduates to have.

The dean for NTU’s School of Arts and Humanities, Angela Brown, announced the decision to halt the offer of modern languages at Nottingham Trent, claiming that changes to graduate jobs and the working world are the cause.

“We have experienced a steady decline in applications to study languages at NTU and at the same time, careers involving the use of languages are changing,” Brown said in the announcement.

“We intend to develop an ambitious new languages offer for our students that is sustainable and continues to give them the best chance to succeed,” she added.

Experts have blamed the decrease in applications on current Brexit fears, with A-level entrants for languages also declining by an average of 25%.

However, some professionals in the field believe that Brexit may make modern languages even more important, claiming that they will be key to avoid Britain’s total isolation.

Angela Brown however, states that this change to NTU’s course offer may only be a temporary solution whilst the university adapt their courses to suit changing attitudes.

“The university believes the learning of languages and the skills needed to become a successful global citizen are essential ingredients of its academic offer to students.”

“We are proud of our current languages offer and recognise that this is not an issue for NTU alone, and we are embarking on a series of discussions with internal and external stakeholders about how we address these challenges,” she continued.

She also confirmed that this will not affect other services within the University such as the Global Lounge, Languages Café and Languages in Tandem.

Current NTU Spanish and Linguistics Joint Honours student Holly Powell, 22, from Cheshire, believes that the loss of Modern Languages from Nottingham Trent will detrimentally affect the opportunities available to students.

“Languages offer so many opportunities, not only for future careers but can have a huge impact on the lives of students as well.”

“It’s very sad that they have to stop Modern Languages at NTU at a time when it should be embraced because of the multicultural society we live in,” she added.

Nottingham Trent University previously offered Spanish, French, Italian, German and Mandarin Chinese as part of their Joint Honours study programme in the School of Arts and Humanities, where these subjects could be combined with another language, or a non-language subject.

Students who have already applied for the joint honours language programme for 2020 have been informed by the University that their degree of interest will no longer be on offer. 

By Faith Pring

Feature image credit: Pixaby

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