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Staff have completed the finishing touches for all courses in preparation for another exciting year at the English Department. All that remains is to welcome a new cohort of students, which will take place with the department’s Introduction Day.

On Thursday, 29 August, incoming students will take part in a series of events to learn about the English programme. They will also have their first chance to meet the staff and fellow students with whom they will share the next few years exploring the delights of English language and literature.

Chair of the department, Professor Carrol Clarkson, who will give the welcome address, says that there has never been a better time to study English at the UvA. “As our programme continues to develop its distinctive approach to English as a world language, this year marks the commencement of two brand new courses in our curriculum. Students in their second year will now have the option of taking core courses on contemporary world literature and the literary legacies of English in the former colonies. These will build on the global Englishes theme that is central to our first-year courses.”

The Introduction Day will also feature presentations by Etcetera (the society for students of English) and the magazine in which many of our budding writers will make their publishing debut, Writer’s Block. “We are so lucky to have such an active and energetic body of students in our department,” says Professor Clarkson. “Their social events and extracurricular activities make an invaluable contribution to the experience of studying English here at the UvA. The widening of intellectual horizons goes hand-in-hand with a supportive and collegial environment.”

As she explains, intellectual horizons are not the only things being expanded. “I am delighted to announce that we are welcoming 100 new students this year. This marks an almost 50% increase on last year’s intake. Our staff work hard. Our students do, too, and their feedback tells us that they rate their experience of the department very highly. Evidently the word is spreading about the UvA’s English programme, and all of us—staff and students—could not be more pleased or more energised for the coming academic year.”