Sherwood writer James Graham strikes as Sheffield Hallam University graduates with English literature degree

Mary Peace, a senior lecturer in English literature at the university, revealed the decision on Twitter on Saturday with a message that read: “The English degree at Sheffield Hallam is ‘suspended’. The university is responding to the government which will not fund plus degrees where 60% of students don’t end up in “highly skilled” jobs within 6 months.”

Mr Graham, whose latest drama Sherwood is now showing on BBC One to critical acclaim, said the loss of arts and humanities degrees under new funding rules could prevent a new generation of writers.

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He wrote on Twitter: “They’re canceling arts and humanities degrees at university where students haven’t been in skilled jobs for 6 months. They would have canceled my drama degree in Hull on this base. I wouldn’t have become a writer. I wouldn’t have written #Sherwood. Other writers wouldn’t have written theirs.”

Writer James Graham and Joanne Froggatt attending the screening of BBC One drama Sherwood at the Broadway Cinema, Nottingham.

Sheffield Hallam later confirmed that its stand-alone English Literature course will end from 2023, but the subject will still be covered in a wider English degree. No job loss is expected.

Dr Peace told the Daily Telegraph the decision appears to display “a very short-sighted understanding of what is valuable in a society”.

Earlier this month, UCU, the teachers’ union, said 37 arts and humanities jobs at the University of Huddersfield are at risk from staff cuts which are blamed on falling student numbers. students.

The UCU said similar cuts to arts and humanities subjects are planned at the University of Wolverhampton, De Montfort University in Leicester and the University of Roehampton.

Earlier this year, the Student Council announced plans to financially penalize universities delivering what it considered “poor quality courses”.

The thresholds include a requirement for at least 60 percent of students to enter professional employment or continue their education.

The OfS said: ‘Universities and colleges failing to comply could face investigation, with fines and restrictions on their access to student loan funding available as potential penalties.’

A spokesperson for Sheffield Hallam University said: “As a large comprehensive university offering over 600 undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, we are constantly monitoring our course portfolio to ensure they align with the latest demands from students and employers.

“A small number of classes are suspended or closed, which has been communicated to the staff concerned. These changes are primarily driven by providing the best possible training offering in the context of the latest application trends. They do not imply job losses.

“We are proud of all of our English courses at Sheffield Hallam and look forward to welcoming cohorts into the English Literature, English and Creative Writing programs from September 2022, for which we are all recruiting.

“From 2023 we will offer studies in English Literature as part of our General English Degree, allowing students to shape their own exploration of the subject through language, literature and creative writing.

“More generally, we believe that studies in the arts and humanities are extremely valuable for our society at large. Graduates from these fields go on to successful careers and have a real positive impact on our economy, health, well-being and education. These subjects are an essential part of our offer as a university and we will continue to offer a wide range of arts and humanities courses led by teams of exceptional academics.

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