University of Sunderland closes history faculty due to lack of student interest

The University of Sunderland has closed its history faculty after just 14 students wanted to study the subject this year.

Its modern languages department will also close after no-one enrolled for its courses, The Times has reported.

A combined history and politics degree will also no longer be an option after just 15 students signed up.

John Mowbray, chairman of the university’s board of governors, said: “While recognising the value of the subjects the university is withdrawing from, the board of governors agreed that they do not fit with the curriculum principles of being career-focused and professions-facing.

“Nor are they of a size and scale to be educationally viable in the medium to long term, given the competition from other institutions.”

About 34 academic staff will reportedly be affected by the changes.

The number of universities offering modern foreign languages has dropped by 40% in the past 15 years.

The decline reflects a trend also seen in A-levels.

Since 2014, there has been an 8% decrease in the number of A-level entries for modern languages and more than a 25% decline in English.

But entries in science, technology, engineering and maths have increased by 15,500, a rise of 6%.

The University of Sunderland said work is under way to develop courses “that provide clear routes into employment”.