The Balearic University signed an agreement with Sheffield University ten years ago, for a student exchange system which affects the departments of Hispanic Studies and Hispanic and Catalan Philology in both institutions. Under the agreement Balearic students do their fourth year at Sheffield and British students do their fourth year in Palma, at the end of which they obtain a double degree. Alan Yates, of Sheffield University's Department of Hispanic Studies, explained that the students take a preparatory course in their third year and in their fourth year take subjects such as linguistics and speech therapy. At the end of their five year study course, they obtain a degree in Hispanic and Catalan Philology from the Balearic University and in Hispanic Studies from Sheffield. At present there are 25 students taking the courses in the two universities, and since 1990, 40 students have obtained their degrees. There are never many students interested in Catalan philology which is a minority option, but up to now, the minimum figure laid down in the agreement, six students, has always been reached, said Yates. Ian Smallwood came to the Balearic University three years ago and is now back in Palma finishing his doctoral thesis on Juan Marsé.

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