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Closure of UU's language school so short-sighted

Published 10/09/2015

It was with incredulity and anger that I read of the closure of the School of Modern Languages at Ulster University. One can only describe this decision as parochial, myopic and cynical.

It is fashionable to attack the arts and to contend that our universities should simply service the needs of industry and the economy.

However, even by the standards of this benighted thinking, one can immediately see that modern foreign languages are of vital importance.

How ironic that, while UU is closing French, Chinese, Spanish and German, it is choosing to maintain Irish and Ulster-Scots. It is inconceivable that a university in Germany or France would elect to discontinue its teaching of English in such a short-sighted manner.

Little wonder that we trail our European and global rivals in language skills with "leadership" of this ineptitude.

Is it a forlorn hope that the many voices of protest on this issue will elicit a prompt and proper change of mind on the part of the vice-chancellor at UU and his management team?

ESPOIR

Belfast

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