Today, I was made aware of the blog of one of the lecturers from my old university. In fact, he’s the one who first told me about the MA Translation course at Salford. The passion with which he described the university, the city and most importantly the School of Languages made me decide instantly that this was where I wanted to go.
Unfortunately, Salford University decided to close its School of Languages (SoL) just a few years after I left. I was too preoccupied with other things to get really involved in the struggles to prevent this at the time, but I was proud that one of my fellow students campaigned hard to save the SoL. I signed the petition she started and just couldn’t believe that all the passion our lecturers had put into teaching us didn’t seem to matter to the University’s management.
Every time I receive an alumni email now, I just angrily delete it. I don’t even want to visit campus the next time we’re over in England. How sad to think that the “discontinuation” of the SoL has put such a dampener on the otherwise fantastic memories of my time at Salford. How much greater would it be to have an alma mater to be proud of, to stay in touch with and maybe even to visit once in a while to talk to current students about their studies and my life after university. I’d be proud to go in and tell my lecturers how far I’ve come professionally since I left there. And I’d want to thank them for the contribution they made to that. Not least, I’d love to introduce them to F., who only exists because C. and I met on the translation course.
Now there’s no point in going back. The course I took doesn’t exist anymore and all young colleagues I meet nowadays tell me they went to Heriot-Watt or some other place. What a shame! Salford had such a great reputation for its translating and interpreting courses, but financial and business aspects were so important that these fantastic courses just got scrapped.
What strange times are we living in when language and intercultural communication don’t seem important enough for a university to keep them alive?