The University Council have released the following statement. As we feared, they have followed the recommendation of the Scrutiny Group and advocate saving a mere 50 out of our 250 Humanities and Welsh Courses. Moreover, there won't be another Humanities or Welsh course until at least January 2010.
We are disappointed. But the fight goes on!
The University Statement:
Cardiff University statement: Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning
Cardiff University’s governing body, the Council, has tonight accepted proposals designed to secure the long-term viability of the Centre for Lifelong Learning.
The Centre will continue to run its popular courses in science, the environment, computer studies, social studies including business and in foreign languages. It will also provide a new programme of humanities courses focused on key subject areas. Over the next few months a programme of approximately fifty humanities courses, due to commence early in 2010 will be designed and marketed to the public.
While this programme will involve a reduction in courses and staffing at the Centre for Lifelong Learning, the University believes it is the best option to preserve a structured approach to CHOICES, the Centre’s programme of courses for the public. It will retain the humanities as a key component of the University’s outreach activities with the wider community. The Council has asked for a new programme to be brought forward offering a structured approach to academic development which can be co-ordinated with undergraduate and postgraduate provision elsewhere in the University.
The Council believes that the original business case submitted on 18 May in which all humanities courses ceased remains the most financially viable of all the options considered for the Centre for Lifelong Learning. However, it also recognises the considerable interest and passion expressed by staff, students and the public in lifelong learning humanities provision. It therefore accepts the recommendation that some initial financial risk be underwritten in order to produce a new academic programme that can be made sustainable in the long term. The new humanities programme will be run on a trial basis, with a view to establishing its long-term viability. There will also be a review of course fees, to bring them into line with similar courses offered by other providers in South Wales.
The University is grateful for the contribution made to the consultation process by the staff unions and the campaign set up on behalf of the humanities courses. All parties have acknowledged that the present situation facing the CHOICES programme in the Centre is not sustainable and action is needed to ensure its survival. The Council is grateful to University officers and to staff within the Centre for the work undertaken to examine alternative options. Council was also grateful to the Campaign Group for its carefully considered contributions and recognised that many of the longer term proposals made by the group have considerable merit and have been included in the programme of action.
The decision will affect the amount of employment available for tutors at the Centre from September 2009. Precise numbers have yet to be confirmed, but this is likely to affect just over 100 tutors, the large majority of whom teach less than 50 hours a year at the Centre. However, additional new teaching roles should become available with the new programme in 2010. Staff and their representatives will continue to be consulted about the impact on employment in the short and long term. Considerable efforts are also ongoing to redeploy staff with the introduction of a new procedure to match the skills of Centre staff with vacancies elsewhere within the University on a priority basis.
The University hopes that all parties will now recognise that united action is the best way to secure the future of the Centre, at a time when lifelong learning provision is coming under pressure across the UK. The University looks forward to the campaign and the unions supporting and promoting the full range of provision offered by the Centre for Lifelong Learning.
Professor Terry Threadgold, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Staff said: “We would like to thank all the staff, students and members of the public who have contributed to the University’s consultation on the Centre for Lifelong Learning. The University’s decision has recognised the strong commitment to maintaining the Centre’s humanities teaching as far as is possible. I hope we can now count on everyone who has contributed to help us move forward and ensure that humanities provision at the Centre is well supported and has a successful long term future.”
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