Save University of Portsmouth English Literature Department

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The English Literature department at the University of Portsmouth is facing devastating cuts, leading to the loss of 8/13 staff members. Portsmouth has such a strong literature history, this being Charles Dickens birthplace, with a road named after Neil Gaiman and Arthur Conan Doyle having a doctor's surgery here. 

The staff members here are not only leaders in their field of research, but are passionate and caring. The Literature course was rated above 90% in terms of student satisfaction with the staff and the teaching. Many Postgraduate students have based their decisions to continue studies at Portsmouth heavily on their appreciation of the staff here.

Any students here currently signed up for a course that has been praised for its wide variety, with courses such as Enlightenment, Magical Realism and World Literature. With only 5 members of staff, it is impossible to maintain this variety and to be taught by leaders in research. The variety of units available holds great appeal for prospective students, and so to reduce this will likely impact application numbers and result in a knock on further reduction to staff. This move towards redundancy is effectively a step towards eradicating the literature department.

Students, like myself, who are studying a postgraduate degree face even more disruption. The loss of jobs will take place in August if this goes ahead - but our MRes finishes in September. This will leave us, in our final month, with no support. For PhD students this is again catastrophic, as they must be with a specialist in their field for the entirety of their three years (or up to six years part-time!) - what will happen to these people?

Clearly, these cuts cannot go ahead. A decline in students is nothing to do with the lecturers who do a fantastic job of retaining their students and ensuring their happiness, and entirely to do with where the university places funding and in the marketing.