Universities closing courses in the arts and humanities will mean poorer pupils are faced with “geographical cold spots” when it comes to accessing these degrees, a union has warned.
Sheffield Hallam College has suspended the educating of English literature as a degree system, a transfer the University and School Union condemned as “shocking” and “depressing”, introducing that it is far more most likely to affect pupils from deprived backgrounds.
It follows the University of Wolverhampton’s program to cull 146 programs, which include those in executing arts, fashion, inside design and style, wonderful art and social sciences.
In May well, the College of Roehampton also announced cuts to its arts and humanities levels.
UCU has warned that positions could also be at danger in those people departments at De Montfort College in Leicester and the University of Huddersfield.
UCU general secretary Jo Grady mentioned the conclusion to shut the English literature course at Sheffield Hallam is “as surprising as it is depressing”, introducing that it “seems section of a broader agenda currently being forced on universities by the Authorities towards the arts and humanities”.
The determination follows a planned crackdown on classes regarded as “low value” by the Govt, whereby universities could face penalties if fewer than 75% of undergraduates finish their programs and beneath 60% are pursuing more review or in expert employment 15 months just after graduating.
Dr Grady stated: “The determination is lousy news for both equally the staff whose positions will be threatened by these cuts and for present-day and future college students, quite a few of them regional to the location, who will see their instruction choices restricted and be denied the opportunity to accessibility bigger education and learning.
“Decisions like this, and at other universities these kinds of as Huddersfield and Wolverhampton, will be vastly harming for access, making geographical cold spots as many programs are dropped.
“The universities most vulnerable are individuals with a higher quantity of considerably less very well-off pupils and it is unconscionable to deny them the opportunity to research topics like literature, artwork, drama and audio.”
A Sheffield Hallam spokesman said: “As a huge complete college supplying a lot more than 600 undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, we hold our portfolio of programs under continual evaluate to assure that they align to the hottest demands from college students and businesses.
“Whatever students decide on to research at Sheffield Hallam, they will graduate with the self confidence and skills to deal with real-environment problems, possessing experienced the prospect to entire perform experience in every 12 months of their picked out programme of analyze.”
Dr Mary Peace, a lecturer in English literature at Sheffield Hallam, explained the cuts in arts and humanities levels at publish-1992 establishments as “cultural vandalism”.
Crafting on social media, she reported: “What kind of society will we have if there is no put for people today from all social lessons and backgrounds to have the probability to browse and consider (or to get the job done in a bar for two decades even though they test to generate a novel) right before they have to make them selves compliant with the office?”