Modern Languages at the University of Glasgow (2): help needed for Slavonic Studies

In my last post I mentioned Glasgow University’s School of Modern Languages and Culture’s success in fending off most of the course cuts threatened in 2011.

Sadly, the Slavonic Studies Department isn’t out of the woods yet. The following is a message from Jan Culik, asking for support in the Department’s petition to the Scottish Parliament.

The petition in support of targeted funding for strategically important,
lesser taught languages and cultures at the University of Glasgow was
discussed by the Scottish Parliament Petition’s Committee on
Tuesday 21st February 2012.

The committee has noted the support given to the cause by the
Scottish Education Secretary Mike Russell, MSP and it expressed
displeasure over the fact that the Scottish Funding Council has not to
date responded seriously to the request to introduce targeted funding
for Czech, Polish, Russian and Slavonic Studies.

The Parliamentary Petitions Committee has decided to write to the
Scottish Funding Council asking its members why are they trying to avoid
this issue considering that the Scottish government has just given them
30 million pounds extra for the funding of Scottish universities.

Jan Culik would like anyone concerned about this situation to send an email to Mark Batho, the Chief Executive Officer of the Scottish Funding Council. Mr. Batho’s email is:

Here’s a template you can use:

Mark Batho
Chief Executive
Scottish Funding Council
Donaldson House
97 Haymarket Terrace
EH12 5HD

Dear Mark Batho,

I am writing to ask you to introduce targeted funding for lesser-taught languages and cultures at Scottish universities, in particular the Czech, Polish and Russian language-based cultural courses and the intercultural Slavonic Studies programme, which are currently taught at the University of Glasgow.

As you know, Glasgow University is the only university in Scotland to offer a full range of language-based cultural studies of Central and Eastern Europe. These programmes may never bring large fiscal gain to the university, but are nevertheless strategically important to Scotland, to its economy and to Scotland’s relations with the region. Hence targeted funding is essential.

If such funding is not introduced, the unique provision for the language-based study of Central and Eastern Europe will disappear in Scotland, which will suffer strategically, economically, culturally and politically as a result.


Thank you.

By Marian Dougan

Published by Marian Dougan

Marian is a translator and editor (specialising in web content) currently based in Glasgow, Scotland. Marian previously lived in Italy for over 20 years, working as a language teacher, translator and policy analyst with the British Embassy in Rome. A qualified member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) and its Italian-language and ITI Scotnet networks, she is currently Scotnet's Convenor and Deputy Webmaster. From 2003 to 2006 Marian taught translation skills at the Italian Department of Glasgow University and now gives Master Classes as part of the new Masters in Translation Studies course. She also conducts web-writing and usability workshops to help people improve their websites and communicate more effectively with their readers, users and customers. In September 2014 Marian obtained User Experience Certification, with specialisation in Web Design, from the Nielsen Norman Group. She loves language, especially English, and is convinced that learning languages opens up people’s minds and horizons (and increases their brainpower!). To share her enthusiasm, she advises schools and educational authorities on language skills and enterprise. She gives talks to pupils on how to combine language studies with other subjects and so enhance their potential and increase their career options. Marian is an active member of organisations such as: Scottish Council Development and Industry (SCDI); Association of Scottish Businesswomen; Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce and the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Scotland. She also loves architecture, design, fashion (British Vogue!), cities and chocolate. She’s a great fan of Twitter and you can also find her on Linkedin.

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  1. Sorry to hear that these courses still in danger. I think it’s a travesty whenever language and culture ceases to be taught, and I wish you the best of luck in securing the funding.

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