Wednesday, 29 April 2009

News from the Welsh Assembly

Gareth Jones A. M. , the Chair of the Welsh Assembly Enterprise and Learning Committee has written to Jane Hutt (the WAG Minister for Lifelong Learning) asking her to use her influence to overturn the decision to axe Humanities and Welsh.

A copy of the letter appears below:

Dear Jane

Proposed restructing of the Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning (LEARN)

You will be aware that Cardiff University is currently consulting on the above as a result of its commitment to the regularisation of hourly-paid staff and the principle of equal pay.

The issue is of interest and concern to Members of the Enterprise and Learning Committee. Firstly, the timing of the consultation is not appropriate, since it will run until 18 July, allowing little time to communicate outcomes and decisions ahead of the new academic year in September. Second, the cuts proposed will most affect the Humanities Faculty, which includes Welsh language courses. I would suggest that this is a considerable blow to the Welsh Assembly Government’s commitment to promoting bilingualism. Third, lifelong learning is crucial to the current agenda of raising skills levels, especially as knowledge acquisition in the humanities can endow students with a wide range of transferable skills such as oral and written communication and problem solving.

I would be grateful if you would discuss this matter with the Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University at the earliest opportunity, advise him of the strength of feeling of Assembly Members, and use your influence to overturn the decision.

Yours sincerely

Gareth Jones AM

Committee Chair

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