Admissions suspended

French studies no longer accepting admissions to graduate programs

Graduate admissions to the department of French studies have been temporarily suspended due to a low number of applicants.

The suspension was announced last Friday and will affect next year’s admission cycles. The 14 graduate students currently enrolled in the program will be able to continue their studies.

According to Brenda Brouwer, vice-provost and dean of the School of Graduate Studies (SGS), the department needs time to restructure the current program with the goal of eventually drawing in more applicants.

The department has seen a steady decline in applicants over the past five years, Brouwer said.

In 2012-13, the SGS didn’t admit any new students to the department’s French studies MA and PhD programs.

“We want to make sure that the department has the time to go ahead with that work and with the declining applicant pool,” she said. “The time seems appropriate to do it now.”

Prior to announcing the decision, last year the SGS had consulted with the department and the Faculty of Arts and Science, both of which supported the decision to suspend admissions.

She said the SGS has held discussions with the department in regards to a potential revitalization and restructuring of the program.

The suspension is temporary, Brouwer said, adding that a decision will be made about continuing the suspension by October when admissions for the 2014-15 school year would open.

A part of this decline in applicants has to do with what the program offers, she noted.

“Graduate programs evolve, and the needs and demands of prospective students also change over time, and I suspect what we need is we just need a stronger alignment between what it is that students are looking for and what it is that the programs are delivering,” she said.

Despite this, she added the decline in applicants isn’t exclusive to Queen’s.

“It’s actually a pattern that we’re seeing in many of the languages and our sister institutions are reporting, for the most part, the same kind of trend,” she added.

Following the suspension of admission to the Bachelor of Fine Arts program, a set of recommended procedures were put forward regarding future suspension of admissions to programs at Queen’s.

Those procedures are currently being reviewed by Queen’s Senate Committee on Academic Development, Brouwer said, adding that it didn’t affect the decision to suspend graduate admissions to the department of French studies.

The 14 existing graduate students will fill the roles of teaching assistant for the undergraduate program next year. Brouwer added that their programs won’t be affected by the decision.

“We’ve been meeting with the department and I had a meeting with the students last Friday just to reiterate that they are going to continue to have the support they have always enjoyed until the completion of their degree.”

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