Not enough students, UG discontinues minorities and multilingualism

The bachelor programme minorities and multilingualism at the Faculty of Arts will be ‘phased out’ from 2025/2026 due to low student numbers. No lecturers will be dismissed.

‘The programme is of very high quality but very small,’ says Joost Keizer with the faculty board. The programme has had an average intake of ten students per year over the past five years, making it financially troubled, he explains. This is the reason for the board to discontinue the programme.

No dismissals

The bachelor programme will now be ‘phased out,’ meaning that in the next academic year, one cohort will still start, but the courses will no longer be taught in the following years. Current students don’t need to worry; they can complete their studies as usual.

According to Marijn van Bronkhorst, spokesperson for the Faculty of Arts, there will be no dismissals. ‘The cluster board and employees are talking, and a plan is being developed to relocate everyone’, she says.

This could mean, for example, moving an entire course to another programme or relocating a staff member to another subject. ‘Both options are possible, but we haven’t reached a decision just yet.’

Bachelor Frisian

It’s also still uncertain where the bachelor programme Frisian will be going. After the report from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) on Frisian studies, the UG seems to be the designated location for this bachelor programme.

Moreover, outgoing Minister of Education Robbert Dijkgraaf promised last month to allocate 340,000 euros a year to finance the bachelor programme outside the regular funding streams.

Independent?

‘But it is not at all certain whether it will be an independent bachelor programme’, says Van Bronkhorst. Although dean Thony Visser acknowledges the importance of the bachelor programme and is in talks with the ministry, there are still many unanswered questions.

‘For example, is there enough money for an independent bachelor programme? And how many students will that attract?’ says Van Bronkhorst. If it becomes a full-fledged bachelor programme, the UG is determined to give it a prominent place. However, where that will be and in what form is still being extensively discussed, including with the Ministry of Education.

Dutch

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