University Court, the governing body of the University of Aberdeen, has accepted a recommendation from the Senior Vice-Principal Professor Karl Leydecker that will see the University continue to offer joint honour degree programmes in Languages.

This recommendation is based on the first of three options being considered as part of a consultation at the University on the future provision of Modern Languages including Gaelic.

The University will now make offers to applicants for entry in September 2024 for all its Modern Languages degree programmes, apart from single honours degrees. Enrolments for single honours are very low - five students in total joined the University’s single honours programmes in Languages in September 2023.

The consultation period is also being extended by a month to allow more time for further detailed discussions on ideas put forward to increase student recruitment and make the delivery of provision more efficient - addressing the £1.5m deficit for Modern Languages this year.

The University will also now consider how it can continue to support research in Modern Languages, including Gaelic.

Professor Leydecker, who chairs the Steering Group looking at language provision, said: “The University absolutely understands how much our community and the wider public care about Modern Languages including Gaelic.

“We have been heartened by the many offers of support and advice on maintaining degree programmes and the ideas that colleagues have brought forward to address their sustainability. We will also make concerted efforts to increase the uptake of the opportunities we offer to all our students to learn languages.

“As a result, we’re extending the consultation period by a month to allow time for further detailed discussions on how to grow demand and address financial sustainability.

“We have always said that we will continue to teach languages at the University. Today’s decision means that we will continue to offer joint degree programmes in Modern Languages, including Gaelic.

“We have listened to the compelling arguments about the importance of language degrees, continuing to be available in the north-east of Scotland. As a result, before the consultation period ends, we are homing in on the first option on the table in the consultation.

“Like others in the sector, our University has a very challenging period to weather but we are working to build firm foundations to ensure a bright long-term future ahead with language provision an important part of that.”

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