In reponse to threats to close translation programs at Imperial and Salford, the Society has written to express its concern.
The University of Salford in the United Kingdom is moving to phase out its Modern and Foreign Language teaching. This will involve closing some strong translation and interpreting programs. The European Society for Translation studies has written to the Vice Chancellor, Professor Martin Hall, expressing its concern over the “institutional disrespect for translation and interpreting as legitimate objects of study, and thus of the key role that they play in the development of multicultural societies and the provision of linguistic rights”.
Professor Hall’s very full reply outlines the commercial logic behind the Salford decision.
In January 2013, similar threats were made to the Translation Studies Unit at Imperial College London, and the EST wrote similarly expressed its concern. The reply received from Imperial stated that their decision was not final.
These two cases are part of a general threat to language study at universities in the United Kingdom, a country where student enrollments in language programs in higher education has fallen by between 30 and 60 per cent since 2000, depending on the language.