THE University of Stirling has hit back at “erroneous” reports from right-wing media that it has replaced Jane Austen on one of its courses in order to aid the “decolonisation of the curriculum”.

Following a report from the Telegraph that the author of Sense And Sensibility and Pride And Prejudice had been “dropped” on one of Stirling’s literature courses in favour of the Nobel Prize-winning American author Toni Morrison, numerous other media outlets subsequently attributed Austen’s alleged replacement to efforts by the university to “contribute to increased diversity”, with GB News describing Austen as having been “cancelled".

However, many on social media quickly responded by highlighting the fact that the course in question – a "special Authors" module – changes its focus every year, and that the course description contains no reference to decolonisation.

The course description notes: “[Toni Morrison] emerged as one of the greatest and most prolific writers of the twentieth century, and her audiences have continued to be captivated by her literary genius in this millennial age.

"She is one of the most revered writers within the American literary establishment and has helped to shape it both as a critic and novelist. Her work can help one to develop more mastery in reading as a genre.”

Speaking to the National, a spokesperson for the University of Stirling said: “Contrary to erroneous media reports, the University has not withdrawn or replaced – nor do we have plans to withdraw or replace – the teaching of Jane Austen from our curriculum. The English programme covers a wide variety of canonical authors and literary periods – and Austen remains part of our teaching.

“By definition, our ‘Special Authors’ module does not permanently focus on one particular author – it changes on a regular basis and Toni Morrison is the novelist currently featured."

The spokesperson added: “As you would expect from a forward-looking university, we routinely refresh our curriculum and are proud that our programmes are broad and inclusive, and enable divergent voices to be featured in our teaching."