University Urged To Re-Think Cost Cutting Plan

01 February 2007
"Hitting Modern Languages Is Not The Way Forward"

The principal of Dundee University is being urged to resist plans to slash the funding of the institute's modern languages department.

SNP MEP Alyn Smith has written to Sir Alan Langlands following reports the department is to loose funding as the university aims to save millions of pounds over the next few years.

Speaking from Edinburgh Mr Smith said:

"I've asked the principal to put pressure on the university's sustainability committee to rethink their cost cutting strategy in light of the potential knock on effects for both students and the institute's reputation.

"In the 21st century language skills are vital and sadly it is an area where Scotland lags behind. Any move to cut facilities available to Scots students can only be negative not only on them but the country as a whole.

"I would worry that if access to modern languages is limited at Dundee then fewer students will take up the opportunity offered by programmes such as ERASMUS where students get to study in other EU countries, and they will miss out on the benefits of such schemes.

"Science is one area where Dundee University has a first class reputation abroad but if graduates and researchers cannot communicate with their international partners this reputation could be severely damaged.

"As support for the SNP and an independent Scotland continues to grow it is essential that our students are equipped to take their place on the international stage.

"I hope that Dundee University will reconsider its current position and leave modern languages alone."