Colleges Lose a ‘Stunning’ 651 Foreign-Language Programs in 3 Years

Jan 28, 2019 247

BY: Steven Johnson

Colleges closed more than 650 foreign-language programs in a recent three-year period, according to a forthcoming report from the Modern Language Association. The new data, which the MLA shared with The Chronicle, suggest that it took several years for the full effect of the recession of 2008 to hit foreign-language programs. Higher education, in aggregate, lost just one such program from 2009 to 2013. From 2013 to 2016, it lost 651, said Dennis Looney, director of programs at the MLA.

The net loss is a "stunning statistic" that may illustrate how extensively colleges designated foreign-language programs for cuts, said Looney, who also directs the MLA's Association of Departments of Foreign Languages. "I don't want to call it a trend yet," he said, but "everything has really accelerated."






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