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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 30, No. 3. 1967.

Students right to choose own destiny

Students right to choose own destiny

Sirs,—I fully support the Students Association Education Committee's plan to advocate the abolition of the foreign language requirement for BA students, as reported in Salient (March 17).

What is of prime importance in this matter is the student's right to choose his own destiny as far as his university course is concerned. Notwithstanding the rules and regulations needed to satisfactorily run a university, any restriction, however slight, on a student's course of study should be retained only on overwhelming evidence in its favour.

To some BA students exotic languages are just that, strange and bizarre, and to dictatorially assign such Xs, which alter all are only of academic use, is far from the objects of tertiary education and the preparation of students for their respective careers.

Any student who has a propensity for a foreign language and wishes to include one in his course can, of course, do so; but no student should be coerced into studying a subject for which he is, perhaps, ill-equipped and has no inclination to study.

In your article Professor Norrish, head of the Department of Foreign Languages, is quoted as saying, "The whole problem involves your [unclear: con] of a BA degree and what it stands for." True, but what [unclear: i] BA stands for should not [unclear: b] allowed to stand in the way of the nature of a student[unclear: 's] personal education.

The university awards the degree, of course, and a [unclear: cer] lain standard must be main tained, but this [unclear: standare] should not be restrictive of the student insofar as his [unclear: choic] of subjects is [unclear: eoncer] Rather they should [unclear: conn] the level of attainment [unclear: he] achieves in His chosen course I am, etc.,

Peter Rapp