As a keen advocate for the promotion of language learning in the UK, Atlas was very disappointed to recently read that the Translation Studies Unit at Imperial College London now faces the risk of its crucial work and courses being discontinued from October 2013. As one of the only locations to now focus so closely on translation in the technical and scientific framework while hanging on to such a successful track record of teaching and globally applicable research in this area, it would be a real shame to lose this gem. However, it looks like their online petition opposing the closure of the TSU has already made a big impact with over 6,000 signatures…
Dr Jorge Díaz-Cintas, Head of Translation Studies Unit at Imperial College London updated us on 28 February saying:
“The Management Board has informed us that the activities carried out by the TSU are not considered core to the College strategy and that, if possible, the Unit should be transferred to another institution. If this solution proves not to be feasible, consideration will be given to discontinuing translation studies from 1st October 2013.
We believe that the Management Board’s view is a deeply mistaken one and that the work of the TSU is indeed fully in line with all the College’s strategic aims. We consider that the relevance to the College Strategy of the activities carried out by the TSU is clear in that:
we are engaged in teaching and researching the communication of science, technology and medicine across languages and cultures in a manner that involves the intensive use of technology;
- ours is the only Masters programme in translation, in the UK and possibly worldwide, that focuses so clearly on translation within the scientific, technical and medical subject areas;
- our research emphasises specialised types of translation, such as audiovisual, scientific and medical, and also the use of translation technology;
- With a track record of 12 years of large-scale MSc teaching and PhD provision, the TSU has established itself as a strong player within the College, with very healthy recruitment, particularly of overseas students, at both MSc and PhD levels, and a strong provision of further complementary activities.
With this strongly technical and scientific profile, we believe that Imperial College is indeed our most natural home. The fact that the College is making such plans indicates that it is uninformed about the vital role played by translation in disseminating its own ground-breaking scientific work throughout the worldwide research community.”
If you would like to register your concerns about Imperial College extremely worrying plans, then you are invited to add your signature to the on-line petition at: www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/petition-against-the-transferral-or-closure-of-the-translation-studies-unit