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Published on October 15th, 2015 | by Niall Norbury

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Students launch campaign to save TAEDS degree

Students at the University of Reading have launched a campaign to save the Theatre Arts, Education and Deaf Studies degree programme following news that it is currently under review.

A petition demanding that the University keep the course open has already received over 1,700 signatures. Student campaigners have also made their voice heard with a demonstration outside of the University of Reading’s Senate.

The Theatre Arts, Education and Deaf Studies course is completely unique in the United Kingdom. Students on the course are taught theatre and drama skills required for teaching within a Total Communication Environment.

The University of Reading is currently reviewing the future of the course due to declining admissions and below average National Student Survey scores. The university is considering creating a new BA Education degree which would be fully inclusive for students with special educational needs.

However, campaigners have argued that for improved marketing and that, although the course is niche, it is incredibly valuable to students and the deaf community.

One of the supporters of the campaigner, Amy Benjamin, said: “No other course offers what TAEDS does… Studying the course you gain a real eye-opener of the struggles deaf people face with communication barriers and cuts in their funding.”

A University of Reading spokesperson said: “The Institute is considering introducing a new BA Education that would offer a fully inclusive degree for students with special educational needs. As part of this, the Institute is reviewing the long-term future of the BA in Theatre Arts, Education & Deaf Studies from 2016 onwards.

“These internal discussions are ongoing, and no decisions have yet been taken. The Institute and University will set out the next steps later this month. In the meantime, we will keep prospective students, current students and staff fully informed.

“Regardless of any future decisions, we can confirm that all current undergraduates will be able to complete their full course at Reading, even if TAEDS closes to new undergraduates.”

A decision about the future of the Theatre Arts, Education and Deaf Studies degree is expected within the next few weeks.

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is the Editor and Creator of Alt Reading. He works in the voluntary sector supporting charities and community groups in Reading.



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