University of Aberdeen (Languages)

– in the Scottish Parliament at on 23 November 2023.

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Photo of Mercedes Villalba Mercedes Villalba Labour

Constituents who work in modern languages at the University of Aberdeen have contacted me about the university management’s plans to withdraw honours degrees in languages, cultures and societies. Given the Scottish Government’s commitment to improving language learning in schools and the existing shortage of language teachers in the North East Scotland region, does the First Minister agree that Scotland cannot afford Aberdeen losing those languages degrees?

Photo of Humza Yousaf Humza Yousaf Scottish National Party

I agree with much of what Mercedes Villalba says. Learning an additional language is a great skill for any person to have, and the news that she gives to the Parliament is of concern. It is, of course, ultimately a matter for the university, and it is appropriate that it makes those decisions. I will ensure, however, that the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills—or, indeed, the Minister for Further and Higher Education—engages with Mercedes Villalba to see what support we are able to offer.