UNSW Greek course at risk of being discontinued due to enrolment numbers


The School of Humanities and Languages at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) will “seriously consider” discontinuing the ARTS1541-Introductory Greek B course at the university if enrolments don’t increase in 2021, according to UNSW Lecturer of Greek Studies, Efrosini Deligianni.

Ms Deligianni tells The Greek Herald exclusively that the School has informed her “that if we don’t reach 15 enrolments in 2021, they might seriously consider discontinuing it.”

“The ones I’ve talked to in the Greek community though, who are closely involved with the program, have told me that the university is bound by legal agreements and they don’t have the right to do so. Even if this is just a vacuous threat though, we cannot take any chances here,” Ms Deligianni says.

What is ARTS1541 and how does it work?

ARTS1541 is an introductory to intermediate level program in Greek language study and culture offered in Term 3 at UNSW.

UNSW Lecturer of Greek Studies, Efrosini Deligianni.

Students not only have a unique opportunity to improve their Greek language skills, irrespective of their language level, but they can also get acquainted with Greek history, literature, music, cinema, popular culture and current affairs.

Students who successfully complete ARTS1541 are also eligible to attend a 6-week In-Country Study Programme at the University of Athens, which typically runs from early January until mid-February.

According to Ms Deligianni, the enrolment numbers for the course are steady and slightly increasing, with 12 being the average number. But to reach the 15 students necessary to save the course, the enrolment process needs to be clearer.

“ARTS1541 is predominantly for students who have completed Introductory Greek A and for whom this is a prerequisite, but it is also for students who have otherwise acquired a basic knowledge of reading, writing and speaking Modern Greek,” Ms Deligianni says.

“Now, the major issue that we are faced with, is that students who have completed Introductory Greek A can directly enrol into Introductory Greek B without any further fuss. The ones who haven’t attended it though are not allowed to enrol in ARTS1541 electronically.

“They need to get in contact with me first and seek my approval. Then, they will have to be manually enrolled in the course. Moreover, students need to know that no formal language placement test is required for enrolment.”

Growing enrolment for 2021:

Acting President of the Hellenic Society of UNSW, Antigone Sarlas, tells The Greek Herald that although Greek students are worried about the discontinuation of the course, the society will try whatever they can to help grow enrolments.

“When Efrosini reached out to us we wanted to build a bit more traction, so we sent out emails to all our members with details of the course and shared the course on our social media as well,” Antigone says.

“We’ve been monitoring the course enrolments since then and they seem to be increasing slowly. We will try everything we can to help.”

Ms Deligianni adds that she encourages UNSW students, especially those of Greek heritage, to take Introductory Greek B as their general education (GenEd) or elective course.

“They will not only improve their Greek language skills, but they will learn a lot about the Greek culture, both ancient and modern, presented to them through the eyes of a native speaker of the language, who is also a specialist in Greek Historical Linguistics,” she explains.

“Besides, the distinct language and unique culture of Greece, the cradle of western civilisation, can decisively contribute to a better understanding of the multicultural and globalised world that we live in.”

The Greek Herald have reached out to the UNSW School of Humanities and Languages for a comment.




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