BBC Wales Good Morning Wales!
On Friday 8 May, BBC Radio Wales broadcast an interview with Jenny Randerson A.M. in its Good Morning Wales! programme.
Cardiff University is consulting on proposals to cut a significant part of the adult education programme it provides. The plans would affect around 250 courses and threaten 100 jobs.
However, staff have been angered by a memo from the University’s Director of Strategic Development asking for suggestions on how to use up more than £0.5m pounds’ of savings.
Jenny Randerson, Assembly Member for Cardiff Central and Welsh Liberal Democrat Education Spokeswoman, told Good Morning Wales, “I find this memo quite extraordinary because it’s actually saying we’ve got £530,000 of under spend this year and probably £650,000 to £700,000 for next year to spend specifically on additional support for part time students. This is money allocated by the Government as part of an initiative to widen access to education … and it is ironic … that they are searching round for possible projects to spend this money on at the same time as proposing all these cuts.
“At the very least I would expect them to be in discussion with the department concerned about … ways in which they could use that money in order to alleviate some of the problems.”
She said, “I don’t think it would mean that there was no need for any cuts and indeed the staff who work in that department accept that there will have to be changes, but it would at least be … a basis for the start of some kind of plan for the future.
“I accept that it couldn’t be used directly (for) staff salaries but one of the suggestions they put forward in their memo is that you could use it to consolidate and build on existing provision at a time when they’re talking about cutting existing provision entirely. The net effect … will be that far from building on and improving access to part time education ... they will in fact be narrowing it considerably.”