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Language cuts would harm Victoria’s culture

Media release
Tertiary Education Union - Te Hautū Kahurangi o Aotearoa
11 November 2016

Language cuts would harm Victoria’s culture

There is no justification for job cuts in Victoria’s School of Languages and Cultures, says Dr Dougal McNeill, secretary of the TEU branch at the university.

"Languages are at the heart of the humanities, and these proposed cuts threaten the viability of language learning and research. We need modern languages at Victoria."

Students and staff in the affected areas have formed a campaign group to oppose these proposed cuts.

The proposed cuts threaten seven out of the seventeen people who work in Italian, German, French, and Spanish and Latin American courses. They would reduce German and Italian to two staff each, leaving their future as disciplines at risk.

It takes time to build up the expertise and experience of languages programmes, and these cuts will do lasting damage to the University’s culture and knowledge.

TEU members will be supporting students when they present their 1900 signature petition opposing the cuts to university representatives on Thursday 17 November.

"TEU members are committed to wisdom and justice for Victoria and its students," Dr McNeill says, "and that means supporting greater numbers of teaching staff, not cuts and setbacks."

"We value Victoria’s multi-cultural, multi-lingual and diverse intellectual environment. Job cuts are no way of showing commitment to language learning and the study of culture."

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