The University of Moncton senate refused to consider cuts to programs put forward by the administration. (CBC)

Several programs at University of Moncton that were set to be abolished have received a reprieve from its top academic body.

The university has been trying for three years to cut back on the number of programs it offers.

It wanted to eliminate a variety of courses, including the honours programs in economics and sociology and the masters programs in law and French. It also wanted programs with only a handful of graduates to increase their enrolment or be cut.

The university prepared a 400-page report with recommendations that were supposed to be approved by the university senate, a group of 40 administrators, professors and students that has the final say on academic matters.

The vote was 20 to 17 against even considering the report's recommendations.

'We had too many questions about the process and the methods.' - Marie Noelle Ryan

"Some senators said that it's not a rational assessment of the programs that were targeted, so the senators were not comfortable on voting on this report," said Sam Leblanc, a member of the student union who sits on the senate.

Marie Noelle Ryan, who sits on the senate as the head of the professors union, is pleased at the way the vote turned out.

"No changes … Oh that's good for us of course, yes." said Ryan. "We had too many questions about the process and the methods."

The university provides an essential service for francophone students in the province and it must offer similar programs to what is offered at New Brunswick's English universities, Ryan said.

No one from the administration was available to comment.