German students are unhappy with their course after several tutors and lecturers unexpectedly left the department. Four members of staff have left since July 2012, all citing contractual instability as the reason.
The co-ordinator of a core module left in reading week, just seven weeks into the academic year.
Student Liam Revell told Leeds Student, “It isn’t the lack of loyalty of the lecturers; it’s the inability of the department to offer more permanent positions due to HE cuts, causing outstanding lecturers to leave in the hope of something more permanent and leaving us in a state of discontinuity”.
Some second year students even attended seminars on a Saturday to compensate for the departure of their tutor. Kirsten Waudby-Tolley said, “While it was a good seminar, obviously Saturday mornings aren’t ideal and Uni is not really where you want to be at that point!” Students have been further affected by the constant change of Personal Tutors.
Student Claire Ward said, “I realise they can’t stop staff leaving but it is annoying when your tutor may not know who you are or may not have taught you before.” Most recently, the Residence Abroad Coordinator has left, leaving second year students half way through their applications for their year abroad.
Fourth year students were also disappointed after their dissertation tutor recently left halfway through the year. Several modules have also been cancelled. Fourth year student Rachel Baker said “Two out of the three German modules I picked this year got cancelled due to staff leaving, meaning I had to do modules I didn’t really want to do”.
Following the most recent staff departure, Ingrid Sharp, director of GRASS told students, “Everyone concerned is prioritising your interests in managing these changes all your tutors have taken on extra lectures and classes as well as additional tutees.” She added, “It’s a real shame. The change in admissions and fees has been particularly difficult to cope with in German this year. All of the staff have left for the same reason – stability somewhere else.” Three new lectureships will be appointed by April, all of which are one or two year contracts.
Words: Kate Brady