Stop cuts to languages at Edinburgh University!

We, as students and staff of the University of Edinburgh, are uniting to express a deep concern at the direction being taken by our University. This has manifested itself in the budget cuts to the Division of European Languages and Cultures. This will have drastic effects on the quality of teaching for all students on the courses, and may result in job losses and/or increased workload for staff. The fact that this is justified by a lack of profit from research is indicative of a wider problem in he ethos of our University. We believe that to maintain the high academic standards of Edinburgh University, the focus must be brought back to high quality teaching enhanced by research, and not subordinate to it. We don't need to elaborate on the importance of modern languages. They are essential for a dialogue between different cultures, and vital in the context of an ever expanding European Union. Edinburgh University offers language courses unavailable in most other institutions in the UK, and delivers them to a high standard necessary for equipping graduates with the skills and understanding they need. We demand: - That all language courses be maintained: no languages should be cut - That the current number of contact hours remains unchanged: this is absolutely vital for students - That a maximum class size be established and that this be adhered to. This criterium should be agreed on through a dialogue between students and staff Students commit to our University, and in return the University has an obligation to commit to maintaining the high quality of teaching that is expected of a world-class university. Equally, a move to increase instability and uncertainty for staff deliberately disregards the fundamental need to recognise their vital role at the heart of our University. These decisions have been taken behind closed doors. Only with the full involvement of students and all staff members can our University properly fulfil its role as an educational institution. We will fight all threats to our education and jobs. Sincerely,

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