English Literature has been axed by a university because less than 60% of graduates from the degree programme entered ‘high-skilled’ jobs.
Sheffield Hallam University suspended the degree for the 2023-24 cohort amid a government crackdown on ‘low-value’ degrees.
The Office for Students said universities can be issued with fines if they do not get 60% of graduates into a professional job.
In its place, the university will offer an English Studies degree which will incorporate literature, creative writing and language.
Dr Mary Pearce, teaches English Literature at Sheffield Hallam University and said the move is ‘cultural vandalism’.
She told The Telegraph: ‘We have “world leading” research and excellent teaching, but we can’t compete on cultural capital. The demise of humanities in the post 92s is cultural vandalism.
‘When was it ever more important in our history for young people to be able to manipulate language and to understand how they are manipulated by language and stories.
‘What kind of society will we have if there is no place for people from all social classes and backgrounds to have the chance to read and think (or to work in a bar for 2 years while they try to write a novel) before they have to make themselves compliant with the workplace.’
Sheffield Hallam University did not clarify why the English Literature degree was being scrapped but said courses were under ‘constant review’ and a small number are being ‘closed’ or ‘suspended’.
A spokesperson for Sheffield Hallam University said: ‘As a large comprehensive university offering more than 600 undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, we keep our portfolio of courses under constant review to ensure that they align to the latest demands from students and employers.
‘A small number of courses are being suspended or closed, which has been communicated to the relevant staff. These changes do not involve job losses.’
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