by Staff Reporter ‘TO be or not to be' was the war cry of some 200 students and lecturers from the Balearic University's English department, afraid that a new catalogue of degrees which is being drawn up by the central ministry of education and science will downgrade English Philology as a degree course. The students marched around the University campus before gathering outside the Rector's office at noon, where they read out a manifesto and handed over a list of their grievances to Sergio Alonso, the vice rector. The protest is being backed by the English Studies departments in Universities across the country, all of which oppose new European Union guidelines which seek to impose a degree in Modern Languages and Literature as part of a process of harmonisation throughout Europe. María Juan, vice-dean of English Philology, expressed her concern at the disappearance of her subject, pointing out that “English has a great social relevance both in Spain and elsewhere.” In the manifesto, the students point out that “English is the language used to propagate most scientific and cultural research.” It is also one of the degree courses most in demand and considered highly relevant in the Balearics.
The vice dean said that they were not opposed to the new degree in modern language and literature, as long as English Philology was not dropped.
Another protest is planned for tomorrow, ending outside the government representative's office in central Palma.