Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Welsh Assembly Statement of Opinion

It is clear that the university is not bothered by the fact that many Assembly Members have called on it to
"suspend their plans for twelve months and to fully engage with trade unions and staff to agree a managed process of change over a reasonable timespan to protect the maximum number of jobs and courses and mitigate adverse effects of any cuts."

The Statement of Oopinion can be read here.

South Wales Echo

The South Wales Echo has the story here.

BBC News

The story is covered on the BBC news website here.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Meeting on Thursday at Noon. Party on Thursday Evening.

The Cardiff branch of the lecturer's union, UCU, has called a meeting for any lecturer or tutor who risks losing their job as a result of the University Council's decision. You do not have to be a union member in order to attend. UCU officials will go through the options available and answer questions.

Meeting Details Thursday 30 July, Noon in the Humanities Building Committee Room (1.31).

All our part-time tutors have now received dismissal notices. Some of them have given decades of service to our students.

Also, on Thursday evening we have the Campaign Party. It's your chance to come and have a drink or a meal in a cheerful West-Indian ambience with real rocking chairs. All our supporters are very welcome. We shall deplore the short-sightedness of the university authorities and have a good time.

When: 6.30pm, Thursday 30th July
Where: The Rockin' Chair, 62-64 Lower Cathedral Rd, Cardiff, CF11 6LT
How much: West Indian Curries will be available for £6.50.

The Result: The Struggle Continues!

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.”


For further information please contact:

Stephen Rouse,
Public Relations Office,
Cardiff University.
029 2087 5596
Mobile: 07976 513386
e-mail: RouseS@cardiff.ac.uk

The Demo

We had a good turnout for the demonstration. And it didn't rain!

There was a message of support from Leanne Wood A.M.
Jenny Randerson A.M. travelled from an engagement in Manchester to speak and show her support. And Jenny Willott M.P. also attended and spoke in support of our campaign.

Several campaigners thanked our students, our colleagues and our A.M.s for all their support during the last hundred days. Whatever the outcome, we know that what we are doing is worthwhile. If the university Council fails to see reason then we won't stop until we've changed their minds!

Patricia Clark gave an interview to BBC Radio Wales's Good Evening Wales programme.
You can listen again here until 3 August. (It's 35 minutes into the recording.)
Meanwhile, other campaigners were being interviewed by ITN Wales and Radio Cymru.

Friday, 24 July 2009


The Scrutiny Group has finished its report to the University Council, which meets on Monday 27 July. Its recommendations are not due to go public until after the Council meeting. However, several members of Senate have confirmed that the Scrutiny Group recommends saving 40 – 50 humanities courses, to be chosen partly on financial viability and partly because of some academic rationale (which is not spelled out). This is to be on a “time-limited trial basis initially, before a longer-term decision is made.”

IF the University Council accepts the recommendation, then about 20% of the Humanities courses will be saved and 80% will be lost. This is bad news for our students, and particularly bad news for those pursuing named foundation certificates. Also there is no guarantee that the courses will continue after 2010.


1. It is apparently impossible for the centre to be able to organise the selection of the 40 – 50 saved courses in time for a September start. It will probably be January 2010 before the next Humanities course runs. It could be even later.

2. All tutors’ contracts will end on 31 July 2009. There will be interviews to hire new tutors for the saved Humanities courses. Current tutors may apply. The situation is that current tutors will be made redundant on 31 July and will start again next year on a new contract.

3. If you are a Humanities or Welsh tutor then please send in any outstanding pay claims as soon as possible. Any redundancy payments will be calculated on this year’s earnings and Human Resources don’t know what you’ve earned until you send in a pay claim.
It would also be prudent to locate your past contract so as to see how many years of continuous service you have. The Human Resources records are not perfect, by any means.

4. The abbreviated Humanities programme would be managed by one co-ordinating lecturer, or two working on a job-share basis. This means at least two redundancies of co-ordinating lecturers.

5. Management do not plan to make any reduction in support staff before January 2010 because they are likely to be busy implementing the new programme.

Come to the demonstration on Monday 27 July, 4.15pm at Main College, Park Place, Cardiff (opposite the Student union building). This could be the last chance of making your voice heard. It is just possible that, hearing sounds of audible disappointment, Council members may be moved to save more courses.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009


Let's mark the end of the campaign! The result will be out - hopefully this will be a celebration!
The venue, The Rockin' Chair, features real rocking chairs and a West Indian ambience.

When: 6.30pm, Thursday 30th July
Where: The Rockin' Chair, 62-64 Lower Cathedral Rd, Cardiff, CF11 6LT
How much: West Indian Curries will be available for £6.50.

To confirm you can attend and whether you would like dinner please e-mail Susan Morgan at: sue-morgan@hotmail.com

Demonstrate on Monday 27 July!

On 27th July Cardiff University Council will make their final decision on the future of humanities and Welsh provision in the Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning. 140 jobs are at stake, as hundreds of courses could be lost, affecting thousands of students across South Wales.

We will be demonstrating from 4.15 to 5pm outside the University Main College Building, Park Place, Cardiff, on 27th July, where the University Council will be meeting. Come and join us!

This could be your last chance to make an impact!
The University Council has declined to receive another deputation from the Campaign. We won’t have a voice inside the council chamber. So let’s demonstrate and make our voices heard outside!

Western Mail: Appeal to Neil Kinnock

This letter appeared in the Western Mail, 22 July 2009.

Looking to Neil

SIR – When the country is mired in the deepest recession in living memory, surely this is the worst possible time for Cardiff University to be gutting its adult education service.
This will denude SE Wales of learning opportunities for adults and lead to the loss of 140 jobs, most of them part-time women tutors.
The outgoing president of Cardiff University is Lord Kinnock, someone who knows how life-changing education can be.
The users and tutors at the Centre for Lifelong Learning are now looking to Lord Kinnock to leave a more positive legacy than a gutted adult education service and mass redundancies in a centre that plays a crucial part in the health and well-being of people in the local community as well as offering access to higher education to all, regardless of background.


Campaign to Save Lifelong Learning at Cardiff University

Read the letters page here

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Fight to the end!

We will be holding a demonstration from 4.15 to 5pm outside the University Main College Building on 27th July.
On 27th July Cardiff University Council will be meeting to decide whether or not to accept proposals to end the teaching of humanities and Welsh in the Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning.
PLEASE come and show your support. It is thanks to all the people involved in the campaign that we have made the University look again at these proposals. A good turn out on the 27th will show Council the strength of feeling against these proposals.
We MUST not let them do this to our University.
Save Our Subjects - Save Lifelong Learning

Monday, 13 July 2009

Open Meeting Reminder

Just a reminder that we have an open meeting at the Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning on Tuesday 14 July, 7pm, in room M/1.02.

Leanne Wood A.M. has promised to come and speak.

Campaign members will report on recent events including our lobby of the Welsh Assembly, the latest deputation to the University Council, and recent consultations with management.

We will also discuss how to move the campaign forward, now that we are in the final stages.

Friday, 10 July 2009

The Campaign Lobbies the Welsh Assembly!

On Tuesday 7 July a group of campaigners went to the Welsh Assembly and met their Assembly Members.

Afterwards UCU (the University and College Union) issued the following press release. Campaigners were pleased by the First Minister's comments towards the end of the document below, and heartened to see so much support from our AMs:


date: Wednesday 8 July
for immediate release

Assembly members agree to apply pressure on Cardiff University over cuts

The University and College Union (UCU) said today (Wednesday) that they were delighted Assembly Members from across the political spectrum would be putting pressure on Cardiff University to halt plans to cuts jobs and courses. The job cuts were even debated in the Chamber by Welsh Liberal Democrat Education Spokeswoman, Jenny Randerson, and the First Minister – full details at the end of the release.

Campaigners from Cardiff University’s Centre for Lifelong Learning met politicians at the Welsh Assembly yesterday (Tuesday 7 July). A petition with more than 2,000 signatories urging the university to reject proposals to scrap all teaching in Humanities and Welsh at the centre was handed in to Jenny Randerson, Assembly Member for Cardiff Central and Welsh Liberal Democrat Education Spokeswoman.

Campaigners then met with Assembly Members from across the political divide, including Christine Chapman, Lorraine Barrett and Jeff Cuthbert Labour, Andrew R.T. Davies and Paul Davies, Conservative and Chris Franks, Plaid Cymru – who agreed to write to the university management suggesting they consider a 12-month period of consultation to engage fully with trade unions and staff to agree new proposals which will protect the maximum number of jobs and courses.

Commenting after receiving a petition at the Senedd, Jenny Randerson said: “I was delighted to meet with the staff again today. I think that the university now has an option for a clear way forward by way of a 12 month suspension of the plans in order to fully discuss the impact and the options for a sustainable future for the department.

“Everyone knows that in a time of economic crisis, money gets tight, but this facility is so essential for the university itself, its staff and students and the wider community. I hope that the Petitions Committee will consider the matter urgently and also that the university will now be able to strongly consider a new way forward.”

Susan Morgan, a creative writing tutor at the Centre and member of the campaign team, said: “The centre plays a crucial part in the health and well-being of people in the local community as well as offering access to Higher Education to all, regardless of background.”

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: “We are delighted that so many AMs offered their support. Like us, they understand the potential and power of education, particularly in these tough times, to make a real difference to people’s lives. Cardiff University can be in no doubt at the level of support our campaign now has and must immediately halt the planned cuts.”

The campaign to save Humanities and Welsh began when the university announced plans on 20 April to cut 250 courses at the centre, leaving hundreds of adult learners across South East Wales unable to complete their studies and fulfil their potential. Since then it has gained wide support from Cardiff University undergraduates, staff from other academic departments in the university, the university senate, other educational establishments, the media and several hundred students at the centre, past and present.

Full details of a subsequent exchange between Jenny Randerson and the First Minister in the Chamber are below:

Jenny Randerson: Today, I received a petition, which will be presented in due course to the Petitions Committee, from the employees of the lifelong learning department at Cardiff University.
Cardiff University is being forced to make stringent savings across the board. In that particular department, I think that you will agree that the method of making those savings is deeply regrettable and could well have implications for equality as well as for adults’ continuing learning. Do you accept that our higher education sector needs to be much better resourced in future, way above the plans of your Minister for education, if our universities are to compete and behave in a way that will make Wales proud?

The First Minister: Extension courses by external university departments, such as the lifelong learning centre at Cardiff University, are certainly a high educational priority. The question that you asked and the petition that will be presented really depend on two words that you used early on in your question: 'forced to'. Really, the whole issue revolves around that notion. Was Cardiff University forced to or not? I think that the university is currently giving careful consideration to all the points made to it, because it seems that some schools of thought believe that the university has made a mistake.


Dan Ashley t: 020 7756 2600; m: 07789 518 992; e: dashley@ucu.org.uk
Alex Rossiter t: 020 7756 2598; m: 07977 562 686; e: arossiter@ucu.org.uk

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Forthcoming Events

Events at the LEARN Save Humanities and Welsh Campaign

Lobby Council: Monday 6 July
The University Council (its governing body) is meeting on Monday 6 July at 5pm in the Main College Building in Park Place (directly opposite the Student Union). Council has agreed to receive a joint deputation from the campaign and the unions.

We are planning a lobby/demonstration. Meet at Main College at 4.15 pm.

Open Meeting
There will be an Open Meeting on Tuesday 14 July (Bastille Day!) at 7pm in the Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning (room to be announced).

We aim to discuss the news from the Council meeting on 6 July, to update people about recent events and to consider the final stage of the campaign.

More from the Scrutiny Group:

The Scrutiny Group has met for the second time and deceived a deputation from the Campaign.
They later released the following statement:

Statement of Outcomes - Joint Scrutiny Group of Council and Senate

The Scrutiny Group has met for the second time today (23 June 2009) and received a delegation from the ‘Campaign to Save the Humanities in the Centre of Lifelong Learning’ representing the staff and student community within the Centre of Lifelong Learning (LEARN), who provided options for consideration relating to the future of LEARN.

The Scrutiny Group also considered an alternative model developed by University Officers that could lead to maintaining some reduced humanities provision within the CHOICES programme. The Scrutiny Group has requested further information relating to the model proposed.

The Scrutiny Group will meet again on 6th July 2009.