Friday, 24 April 2009

Save the Humanities!!!

Cardiff University has announced a proposal to close down all Humanities courses at the Centre for Lifelong Learning and make redundant over a hundred staff, both academics and tutors!!!

If this plan goes ahead in September there will be no more courses on

  • Archaeology
  • Art & Architecture
  • Creative writing
  • Folklore
  • History
  • Law
  • Literature
  • Media & Photography
  • Music
  • Philosophy
  • Religion
  • Welsh

Please join the effort to save our courses!

Write to the Chair of the
Committee that holds the Welsh Assembly Government to account for Education and Lifelong Learning!

The Chair is Gareth Jones, AM
Here is the committee's website and the rest of its members

Write to your local AM!

Write to the Vice Chancellor of Cardiff University!
Here is the Vice Chancellor's address

Don't let our courses disappear!


  1. Welcome to the CAmpaign to Save the Humanities at Cardiff's Centre for Lifelong Learning.

    On Monday of this week the University announced the proposed closure of the entire Humanities provision at the Centre for Lifelong Learning, this will effectively axe over 250 courses at locations across the whole SE Wales, affecting thousands of students & leaving a huge hole in the cultural and educational life of the region, it also means redundancy and/or loss of income for almost 100 tutors.

    There can be no ethical, moral or intellectual arguments to justify the University's actions in this instance, they are based solely on economic projections (which may well be flawed) and fear.

    It is clearly incredibly short sighted to axe opportunities for individuals to retrain & re skill at this time economic uncertainty. All of the humanities subjects provide hugely transferable skills including problem solving, original thought, reason, debate, communication and research skills. These are vital skills that will help to lift us out of the current recession.

    Moreover, the University's actions fly in the face of their commitment to community engagement as presented in evidence to the Welsh Assembly and in the University's own strategic plan. They also fly in the face of the University's 125 year old pledge, enshrined in its original charter, to extra-mural education and recently celebrated in a University sponsored publication celebrating its role in Lifelong Learning over the past century and a quarter.

    The resolve of both staff and students at the Centre is very firm: this decision MUST be overturned. There can be no more righteous cause than the defence of education. In the short space of 5 days we have secured National media coverage in Wales for our cause, we have received the firm support of two Welsh Assembly Members (Jenny Randerson, Lib Dem AM and Gareth Jones, Plaid Cymru AM), we have also amassed a large group of well wishers & activists & have created our own web page. This is simply the beginning, we will not cease our efforts until the University reverses its decision.

    We are holding a meeting here in the Centre of Lifelong Learning, Senghennydd Road, Cardiff at 5.30pm on Monday 27th April in room M1.02 to which all are very welcome.

    You should also know that ours is part of a much wider struggle to preserve open access higher education, so please visit & support:

    Heartfelt thanks for your suport,

    Dave Wyatt

  2. I want to echo Dave’s words and welcome you to this blog. I urge you to leave your messages of support, write to the people mentioned above, and of course attend our meeting on Monday 27th April at 5.30pm. With your help and support we can defeat this contemptible proposal.

    Many thanks, and best wishes,
    Nick Jones
    Co-ordinating Lecturer for Music
    Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning

  3. I have just received the following email from Gareth Jones AM. He replied to my email in a matter of hours & on a Sunday evening! As Gareth is Chair of the Committee that holds the Welsh Assembly Government to account for Education and Lifelong Learning he is a valuable ally for us.

    Dear Dr, Wyatt
    Thank you for your email.
    As you've mentioned there are key and urgent issues involved here. As you've noted from my interview on Good Evening Wales you have my utmsost support in your efforts to reverse what is clearly a devastating blow to so many important aspects of education in Wales.In fact it is so blatantly out of accord with the principles of lifelong learning and the leading policies of WAG that I find it astonishing and alarming.
    I shall refrain from elaborating any further on such a short sighted and deeply flawed decision except to say that I have referred the matter to Dr. Kathryn Jenkins, the Clerk of the Enterprise and Learning Committee. I shall be discussing the matter with Dr. Jenkins this week and we'll contact you after our briefing session.

    Unfortunately, I am unable to attend the meeting arranged for tomorrow, however, please tell those in attendance that I empathise absolutely with their feelings of disbelief and dismay and that I shall endeavour to seek the Committee's support in bringing pressure to bear on the University to reassess this situation and to bring forward a far more enlightened decision. A decision which should bear the hallmarks of a truly corporate, entrepreneurial, and forward looking Wales based institution rather than the myopic, introverted and ill advised decision they are about to adopt. This is not the action I would expect from an institution of Higher Education in today's devolved Wales.

    Best wishes to you and you can count on my support as a constituency AM. I shall do what I can in my capacity as Chair of the E&L Committee to raise the issue at the highest possible scrutiny level within the National Assembly,

    Yours sincerely,

    Gareth Jones.
    Assembly Member Aberconwy
    Chairman Enterprise and Learning Committee