5 ways YOU can join the campaign to save the Irish degree at Ulster University, Belfast
- Sign and share the petition on change.org
- Take part in the picture campaign on social media
- Use #SábháilBéalFeirste #SaveIrishUUB
- Send your tweet to @UlsterUni and CnaG
- Write a letter or send an e-mail to Ulster University
- A sample letter to Ulster University is available here
- Contact and lobby your local representative
- Write a submission to the current DEL consultation between now and 30th October 2015 to ensure permanent, long-term provision for the Irish language at third level
Background to the campaign:
Conradh na Gaeilge is calling on Ulster University and the Minister for Employment and Learning (DEL), Stephen Farry MLA, to reverse the decision made in September 2015 to end the full-time BA degree programme on the Belfast Campus, which is thriving in terms of both attendance and student satisfaction.
Ulster University currently offers the full-time BA degree programme in Irish on its Belfast and Magee campuses. The full-time degree began in Belfast in the 2012/13 academic year and there has been a huge demand for the course ever since. The School of Irish Language and Literature is permitted to intake up to 20 students yearly on its Belfast programme – the course filled 19 of those spaces in 2012/13 despite only being advertised for an extremely short period before the start date; the course then succeeded in fulfilling 100% of its allocated spaces in the following academic years between 2013/14, 2014/15 and this year 2015/16. There were 56 applications made to the full-time programme for this coming academic year, which shows how much of a gap this decision will leave in the city. The statistics prove that the course was achieving all of its targets, both in terms of the size of the cohort and student satisfaction.
Conradh na Gaeilge understands that these huge cutbacks are a result of a funding deficit from DEL, but claims that it does not make sense to cut a course which is in such demand and whose target market is increasing annually alongside the growth of Irish-medium education in the north and the growing interest in the language in general. Conradh na Gaeilge is calling on Ulster University and the Minister for Employment and Education, Stephen Farry MLA, to reverse this decision, and the organisation is urgently seeking a meeting with both parties to discuss this issue as a matter of priority. Release in full available here.
Bí páirteach. Bí glórach. Bí gníomhach.