MEMBERS of the Aberdeen University Scottish Nationalist Association (AUSNA) have written to the Scottish Education Secretary as the institution confirmed it is considering scrapping its modern languages degrees - including Gaelic.

A consultation is to be carried out on three options for the future of provision at the School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture (LLMVC).

These include:

  • Scrapping single honours degrees in French, Gaelic, German and Spanish and reduce the number of courses required to deliver joint honours programmes
  • Scrap single and joint honours degrees in French, Gaelic, German and Spanish but continue “with language” programmes such as International Business with French
  • Scrap all language programmes with a named language but offer a language as an elective course in first or second year

Professor Karl Leydecker, who chairs the steering group on the issue, said: “It is deeply regrettable that the provision of modern languages at the university is unsustainable in its current form, with low and falling numbers of students.

The National:

“The steering group looks forward to engaging with the school to explore the options through the process of consultation before reaching final conclusions on our future provision.

“It is clearly a very difficult time for staff in Modern Languages and the wider School of LLMVC. A range of support is being provided.”

In a letter to both Jenny Gilruth (below) and MSP Graeme Day, the AUSNA said: “I don’t think we need to tell you just how important language degrees are.

“They are much more than just learning a language, they also teach us about other cultures and our own.

The National:

“As Scotland looks more outwardly into the world, the decision to stop these programmes sends the completely wrong message to the world.

“A number of EU Consulates and international professors are warning against this course of action.”

It comes after Gilruth said it was important to be “proud” of Scotland’s national languages as the Scottish Languages Bill was introduced in Holyrood.

The legislation offers legal recognition of the Scots language for the first time as well as expanding the provisions of Gaelic.

“Gaelic and Scots are really part of who we are in Scotland. They’re part of our heritage, they’re part of Scotland’s story,” the Education Secretary said.

READ MORE: Scottish independence: Alba launch new 'back-up' referendum plan

“It’s really important that we celebrate our national languages.”

The letter added: “AUSNA are proud to have organised a cross-party, cross-society group against this decision at the university, but as the SNP society and SNP students, we feel we have a duty to take this issue to our party and the Government that we lead.

“We implore you to positively engage with the university to stop this catastrophic decision, for the sake of future students and the dedicated current staff.”