Students and staff are set to protest against plans to cut modern language degrees at a Scottish university. 

A rally is being held on Monday (December 11) after the University of Aberdeen announced plans which included ending degrees in French, Gaelic, German and Spanish, and putting staff jobs at risk. 

University and College Union (UCU) general secretary Jo Grady, who called the proposals "academic vandalism" will be among the speakers at the demonstration, which is taking place from 6pm in New Kings Building at the Old Aberdeen Campus. 

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It comes after more than 10,000 people have signed a petition opposing the cuts, and calling on senior managers to rethink the plans. 

The petition says: "If allowed to proceed, the ancient University of Aberdeen would be destroying degree programmes that have been in place for a century or more (French and German since 1898; Gaelic recruited its first lecturer in 1916, and it has been part of the University since 1495; Spanish since 1924).

"Aberdeen would become the only ancient University, not only in the UK, but in the world, without language degrees." 

Aberdeen university said it is "deeply regrettable" the provision of modern languages is "unsustainable" in its current form due to a steep fall in student numbers. 

A steering group in November outlined three options which are now currently out to staff for consultation.

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Professor Karl Leydecker, the university's senior vice principal, 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 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.” 

A University of Aberdeen spokesperson said: “We understand the strength of feeling on this matter and respect the right to peaceful protest. 

“These are difficult and uncertain times for universities as they deal with the impact of the sharp decline in the numbers of young people studying languages. The University of Aberdeen remains committed to teaching languages but is exploring how this can be done sustainably.    

“Senate, the academic body of the university met this week to discuss the consultation that is underway with regard to Modern Languages and that feedback will be provided to Court, the University's governing body."

The consultation, which is available to view on the university's website, is currently due to close on January 15, 2024.