Students fight to save education course

29th November 1996 at 00:00
Dundee University is to stop teaching education to undergraduates despite the popularity of the courses. The phasing out of courses from next year is due to a lack of funding but has been condemned by students, who hope that the decision will not be ratified by the senate next month.

There are 130 students on the first-year course, and Elisabeth Gerver, professor of continuing education, said that the decision would be "a loss for the university". It had been made as part of a review of arts and social sciences. "I seriously disagree with the outcome. There has not been comparable analysis of other departments in the faculty," Professor Gerver said.

Education has been an undergraduate subject at Dundee for about five years. It is offered at joint honours level, but numbers in the honours classes are "capped" at 12 a year.

Brian Smith, dean of arts and social sciences, said that funding for social sciences at Dundee had been spread too thinly and increases expected from the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council had not been given.

Although education was a popular subject for first and second-year students, expansion at honours had not been possible. Many of the applicants to the university who expressed an interest in studying education did so in the belief that it led to a teaching qualification, which was not the case.

Professor Gerver said that if undergraduate courses ended, staff would continue to develop research and postgraduate work.

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