University of South Wales scraps journalism course
The University of South Wales will scrap its journalism undergraduate course at the end of the academic year after almost two decades.
The university said the decision was taken due to a decline in students studying journalism and media in the UK.
The BA Journalism degree was the only practical and BJTC accredited journalism undergraduate course in Wales’ capital.
It has produced an abundance of talented journalists including ITV’s Alexandra Spiceley, former Bro Radio presenter and now BBC Wales producer Dan Moffat, ITV Wales’ Dan Bevan and Sophia Franklin who prior to becoming a podcaster co-presented alongside Chris Evans for Virgin Radio.
Nation.Cymru’s news editor, Emily Price also received her first class honours degree from the course.
She said: “This is a body blow for the journalism sector in Wales which is already under immense pressure. The course was far more hands on and practical than the other options at USW which was what attracted me to it when I looked at journalism degrees in Wales.
“The course proved to be a top quality conveyer belt producing many talented journalists who have gone on to enjoy successful careers.
“Prior to getting my degree, I was working as a waitress and applying for the BA Journalism course at USW was the best thing I ever did. I’ll be forever grateful to the hardworking lecturers who helped me achieve my dream.”
In September last year when it became apparent USW bosses were considering axing the course, Plaid Cymru MS Sioned Williams wrote a letter of concern to the university alongside Nation.Cymru’s CEO and several other Welsh news outlets.
Nation.Cymru CEO Mark Mansfield wrote: “There is currently a severe shortage of journalists in Wales and in particular young, properly trained journalists.
“In the past we have advertised extensively for newly qualified journalists when vacancies have arisen and have been disappointed with the number and calibre of applicants.
“Our news editor has been able to achieve her dream of working as a journalist thanks to the teaching at USW.
“It would be a tragedy if that opportunity was denied to other aspiring journalists with the closure of the course.”
USW says it remains committed to the subject area.
A spokesperson said: “USW is committed to investing in the future of the creative industries in Wales. We are constantly evaluating and adapting our curriculum to ensure that our students have the best opportunities to develop their own skills and connections to enhance their future careers.
“The decision to close BA Journalism was not taken lightly. Unfortunately, we have not seen sufficient growth in student numbers to provide the rich student experience and culture we strive to achieve.
“This is partly because of a decline in the number of students studying Journalism and Media Studies in the UK, meaning there are not enough potential students, despite the excellence of our staff, students and partnerships.
“Our BA Media, Culture and Journalism, BA Sports Journalism and MA Visual Journalism courses all continue to recruit strongly in a competitive market and we remain committed to provision within this subject area.
“To be clear, the course will remain live for current undergraduate students for the duration of their course and their studies will not be affected.”
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