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University considers culling small courses

As a result of further cuts to higher education funding, UEA is considering axing courses and modules that only have a small number of students on them.

The university has told the Students’ Union it will assess which courses are financially viable and consider cutting those that are under-recruiting from the options available to students. Niche, specialised courses and modules will therefore be most likely to face these cuts.

This could include postgraduate courses such as MA Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies, MA Adult Literacy and Learning for Global Change and MSc Plant Genetics and Crop Improvements.

A union representtive expressed concerns, in a blog on the SU website, that the cuts could mean a threat to “innovative thinking” at UEA.

“I’m concerned that if we shut down these courses and cut off these modules, we’re going to shut off the next generation of cutting edge researchers” she said.

“The university may allow two years for new courses to pick up numbers but if it’s an entirely new discipline, it’s going to need longer.”

The same union spokesperson argued that “what masters degrees the university offers should be an academic decision, not a financial one.”

Whether the university chooses to execute plans to cut courses and modules remains to be seen.

Concrete asked the university which courses are being considered for cuts and when any final decision can be expected.

A UEA spokesperson said: “The university regularly reviews its courses and module provision, to ensure that its offering meets market demands.

New modules and courses are added to the provision and the less popular are withdrawn, paying due regard to the Competition and Market Authority (CMA) implications.”

The university said that students and applicants “will be consulted and informed as appropriate when and if there are concrete proposals relating to modules on their courses.”

Course closure, when it happens,  is carefully managed with recruitment activities brought to an end and students on the course supported through to the completion of their studies.”

The university added that they are unable to provide any more information at the present time.

15/03/2017

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