Language departments serve a vital role within the infrastructure of any university, UKZN included. By removing these departments from within UKZN – and it must be emphasised that NO OTHER DISCIPLINES ARE BEING COMPLETELY ELIMINATED! – you are destroying the reputation and reliability of the university and changing its very nature. Aside from this, the students enrolled currently in these programmes are constantly caught in a state of limbo, because they never know if their respective majors will be available in the next semester and on which campus. The students of UKZN should be taken into account and informed, at the very least, well in advance about the future of their courses. UKZN has been eroding the languages for a number of years now, not renewing staff, complaining about low student numbers in the languages, while causing such confusion in students’ and lecturers’ minds that numbers are in freefall. To be a language student at UKZN is to be very courageous and determined. Parallel to this, UKZN is constantly courting foreign students, from Africa as well as from the other continents, and the foreign students who come to UKZN to follow a Humanities programme invariably look for a foreign language to add to their course. If this is allowed to carry on we might as well say goodbye to our foreign relations and the prospect of creating links with other countries that are not English speaking. The language departments which you wish to destroy and have already starved of resources, teach your students to communicate effectively with countries outside of Africa as well as with our fellow African nations.
The university management intends on the termination of these disciplines beginning as of the first semester next year. It must be emphasised that none of this information has been openly discussed with or distributed amongst the students!
With this petition we the students at UKZN insist that decisions with regards to these and any other modules being threatened by management be discussed with us, the students, first! We do not appreciate nor accept the management’s secrecy, bullying tactics, double standards and its failure to keep our very interests in mind.
We invite our fellow UKZN students as well as those who support this cause to join ranks with us in this struggle to be heard by those who we pay to keep our best interests at heart!
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