The university’s decision to drop English Literature has made national headlines but the institution has insisted its removal from next year is nothing to do with planned Government reforms to cut down on so-called “poor quality” courses.
It followed the likes of Sherwood playwright James Graham and best-selling author Anthony Horowitz raising concern about the loss of the course after it was linked to plans to fine universities for degrees where not enough students go on to professional employment or further study within 15 months of graduation.
Professor Sir Chris Husbands, Sheffield Hallam University Vice-Chancellor, said that was not the case and a “relatively modest portfolio revision has been conflated with a broader national concern about the government’s attitude to the arts and humanities”.
It has now emerged a further 10 subjects are also being dropped, including Multimedia Journalism, Education Studies and Business Analytics.
The standalone English Language degree is also going as the university opts to offer a broader English degree from September 2023.
No job losses are planned.
A spokesperson for Sheffield Hallam said: “There are a small number of courses which we recently made the decision to suspend, out of a portfolio of over 600. We keep our portfolio under constant review and these changes ensure that our offer is in line with the latest demands from students and our aspirations as a university.
“Changes of this kind are commonplace for any university as it considers its offer for future academic years. They do not involve job losses, they do not represent a devaluation of disciplines involved, and they are not based on responding to graduate outcomes data. They will help to ensure that our offer is fit for purpose.
“Where courses have been suspended, it is largely because the demand for places has been low. However, we continue to offer the same or complementary subjects through a range of other degree programmes.”
Other subjects being dropped at undergraduate level are Digital Communication and PR, Human Geography, Architectural Technology, Esports and Computing (Smart Technologies), as well as Accounting and Finance for Sport Industries.
Last week, the UCU Union warned that universities closing courses in the arts and humanities will mean poorer students are faced with “geographical cold spots”.
It follows the University of Wolverhampton’s plan to cull 146 courses, including those in performing arts, fashion, interior design, fine art and social sciences. In May, the University of Roehampton also announced cuts to its arts and humanities degrees. Jobs are also at risk at Huddersfield University.
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