Macquarie University responds to criticism after decision to end Modern Greek program

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In a statement to The Greek Herald, Macquarie University in Sydney has responded to criticism on its decision to discontinue its Modern Greek Studies Program.

On Tuesday, June 4, the Macquarie Greek Studies Foundation Limited (“the Foundation”) confirmed that the University was discontinuing four languages, including Italian, Croatian, Russian, and Modern Greek.

Current students enrolled in Modern Greek will be able to complete their studies without disruption until the end of 2026. New students won’t be able to enrol in Modern Greek at Macquarie starting from Semester 1, 2025.

While the Major and Diploma in Modern Greek and curriculum components are slated for discontinuation, the University has indicated that it may incorporate Greek language and culture related units of study within the new discipline of Global Cultures. The final content and curriculum design for this discipline are expected by late 2025.

Next steps to ‘revitalise’ languages at Macquarie University:

The discontinuation of Modern Greek comes after the Faculty of Arts at Macquarie University decided to proceed with a Workplace Change Proposal it released in April 2024.

The proposal will see the creation of a new School combining four discipline areas: Criminology, Politics and International Relations, Security Studies, and Global Cultures. The four languages of Italian, Croatian, Russian, and Modern Greek will be in ‘resting and teach out.’

The Foundation and its community partners, including The Greek Herald, vigorously advocated for and strongly supported the continuation of Modern Greek studies, even offering to fully cover program costs.

macquarie-university-modern-greek-program-scaled
The Greek Herald worked alongside the Macquarie University Greek Studies Foundation to launch a petition calling on the university to reconsider its decision to discontinue Greek.

A spokesperson for Macquarie University told The Greek Herald that “all feedback received during the consultation period was carefully considered in the decision to proceed with this proposal.”

“The University recognises its long-standing relationship with the Macquarie Greek Studies Foundation,” the spokesperson said.

They also stressed that the nature of teaching and research in language and culture in the tertiary sector is changing, and Macquarie University was exploring how it will best position its curriculum to align with the needs of a changing national and global context.

“Student enrolment numbers in Modern Greek studies have remained consistently low over the past decade,” the spokesperson said.

“The Discipline of Global Cultures will revitalise the University’s language offerings to focus on matters of global concern from a linguistic and cultural perspective, emphasise employability skills and deliver a curriculum that supports intercultural engagement and addresses global challenges.”

With the proposal now finalised, the spokesperson said a proposed implementation plan will be put forward for consultation with staff and stakeholders later this month.

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