A Scottish university has been accused of axing courses to improve its position in league tables.

Students from Abertay University, in Dundee, said ratings from the National Student Survey (NSS) were used to justify the closure of some degree programmes from 2019.

The NSS, where students rate their courses, is an influential measure because data from it is used in the compilation of league tables. However, critics argue it is flawed because it is subjective.

Tam Wilson, president of the students’ association, said: “We are severely disappointed to hear of the drastic reduction in courses.

“We believe this decision is incredibly short-sighted and lacks serious forward strategy and planning.

“This process has placed an undue weight on the NSS results .. rather than directly address the perceived issues within courses.

“Last year, we opposed the NSS survey and encouraged a student boycott for a number of reasons, including our belief that this is not an appropriate or accurate way of measuring attitudes toward their course or the university.”

A spokesman for Abertay University said: “We are currently undertaking a review of our academic portfolio the outcome of which will not affect any of our current students.

“We have taken the decision to cease future recruitment to a total of eight courses, but we do not anticipate any job losses as a result of this decision. Student demand for all these courses has been low.

“We are currently undertaking consultation on ceasing future recruitment to a further three courses, with a decision on this to be made later this month.”

Degrees facing closure include management and the games industry, sound and music for games, psychology and forensic biology, psychology and human resource management and sport and psychology.

Postgraduate courses facing the axe include food and drink innovation, mental health nursing and psychology.

Further consultations are being taken on civil and environmental engineering, environmental science and technology, forensic sciences and international human resource management.

Mary Senior, UCU Scotland official, called for improved consultation on the proposed closures.

She said: “We want the university to consult properly with staff and students before taking decisions to cut courses and to make the interests of students and education the priority in this process.”

“It is important the employer is up front about any implications of course closures, and commits to minimising the impact on students, and avoiding any job losses.”