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VP Education

Victory! Language course fees halved!

Yayyyyyyyyy! That’s what I wanted to scream when I found out that the cost to learn languages at Solent is being decreased by more than 50%.

A key focus for me this year has been my manifesto objective “to make languages for affordable and accessible for students”.

Now, ten months after starting my mission, I’m delighted to update you on the progress I’ve made…

My mission was to lobby the university to reduce the cost of language courses from £600 to £300 and I’m so excited to tell you that I have exceeded my aim and made languages even more affordable for you at Solent than I imagined I’d be able to!

From the start of the next academic year (September 2016) the cost to learn a language at Solent will be less than half the current cost at just £260.

As well as this the Vice-Chancellor's Group have agreed this fee will be standard across all languages at all levels meaning that students have equal opportunity regardless of their ability or chosen language.


Photo Credit: The Guardian

So how did I manage to achieve this?

To begin with I researched the cost of languages at other universities and found that at Solent we were charging a lot.

Then, after several meetings with the Vice-Chancellor's Group and PGL for Languages, I launched my languages survey to find out what you wanted from ‘Languages at Solent’.

I was really pleased to have over 450 students complete the survey and the results showed me that an overwhelming majority of students only deemed £200-£300 an acceptable amount to pay for an accredited language course at Solent.

With this information to hand, I wrote a 2,000-word proposal including my initial research, survey results and trend data which proved that since the cost to learn a language gradually increased to £600 between 2010-2012, the number of students taking up a language had decreased by 75%.

I then submitted my proposal to the Vice-Chancellor's Group, which they discussed at their budget-planning day and I was delighted to find out it was accepted! They all agreed with my recommendation to reduce the fee to £260!

The cost will be set at £260 for the whole year and then reviewed before the end of the academic year. What this means is that, we need as many students as possible to start learning a language over the next 12 months to prove that reducing the cost was the right thing to do, both for students and for the University.

To avoid any confusion, I should explain that this cost is only attached to supplementary language courses, which you do separately and in addition to your degree programme. Curriculum Plus (taking a language in place of an optional unit), is still included in the cost of your degree with no additional fee.

I really hope this helps reduce the financial barriers that have been attached the learning a language at Solent, and I’m so pleased that I have been able to support students in getting more equal opportunities for personal and professional development.

Everyone knows having a language under your belt is invaluable so if you’ve ever been interested in learning a language and getting academic accreditation for it – then do it now!

If anyone has any questions or would like to see my survey results and proposal then please email me at su.education@solent.ac.uk.

All that’s left for me to say is – yayyyyyyy!

 

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