UEA have cancelled the January 2021 enrolment for select Masters programmes. The decision is mainly a result of low demand for the intake window.
A total of four Master of Science programmes and one Master of Arts programme have had the January intake cancelled. These courses include MA Media, Culture and Society, MSc Global Media Economics, MSc International Business Finance and Economics, MSc International Business Economics and MSc Marketing and Management.
Postgraduate courses have taken a hit to enrolment with a first round of cancellations taking place prior to the academic year. 16 courses from a wide variety of departments and subjects were cancelled in May with the choice to defer to 2021 or enrol for another course. In addition, many courses were postponed to a January and February 2021 start date in the summer also. Those courses included MA Broadcast and Digital Journalism, LLM General Law, MA International Development, MSc Business Management, MSc Data Science, MA Film, Television and Creative Practice and MSc Finance and Management.
A University spokesperson said “UEA has had to close five masters courses that had been offered with a January 2021 enrolment date, mainly due to low demand. These courses had been offered with the extra enrolment date due to the pandemic and out of consideration for prospective students who may have wished to delay their travel until January.
We have written to those prospective students affected to offer them the opportunity to select either an alternative course which will begin in January 2021 or to defer until September 2021”
The very short notice and sudden change has been critiqued by many who have been affected by the decisions. Dorothy Reddin, a prospective Postgraduate student before her course, MA Broadcast and Digital Journalism, was postponed in July describes the implications of such decisions by the university, commenting that it “was such a shock to the system and sent waves of panic through me, because I had already secured my housing arrangements for my MA course, paid the deposit, and even my first month of rent. Universities really need to consider the devastation decisions like this can cause, and give extreme lengths of notice before making such distressing decisions.”
The implications of a course cancellation or postponement creates problems beyond academics for most, with money, work, accommodation and travel also being affected. Tom Floodgate, choosing to change courses and stay at UEA after a similar situation, highlights “it must be remembered that students have often been planning for a Masters for several months and have been planning jobs, internships and accommodation around the apparent certainty. To have all this uncertainty about my course and my future during my final exam was stressful to say the least. The contact details that were provided were inadequate. There was no phone number to discuss my options, only an email address that took them (UEA) three weeks to reply to. The stress that such a decision causes a student is unprecedented”
It is unknown at this point how September 2021 intake will be, with Postgraduate applications seemingly continuing as normal for now. Due to cancellations and postponements largely being a result of low demand, it is possible more courses will be affected in the future.