Roehampton University scraps classics, philosophy, drama and creative writing courses | News

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Roehampton College will scrap its classics and its philosophy courses as perfectly as lots of English and arts degrees although telling extra than 100 lecturers to reapply for their positions, the Universities and School Union (UCU) has explained.

The college, in southwest London, informed personnel last week that 19 courses, including classics and philosophy degrees, drama, inventive creating, images and its background master’s degree would be closed to new students from September. Some aspects of philosophy will be taught in two new classes.

Authors and screenwriters condemned Sheffield Hallam University final month for its decision to shut its English literature system. Philip Pullman, the creator of His Dark Supplies, reported the closures would render the subject matter the maintain of “aesthetes”.

Roehampton’s closures are among the greatest and most sweeping so considerably, affecting undergraduate and postgraduate programs in 10 matter locations. The college management informed the union at a meeting very last week that extra than 100 team would be built redundant and would have to reapply for much less posts. The university has presently carried out a spherical of voluntary redundancies. The union claimed it admitted previously in the yr that up to 226 work opportunities ended up at danger.

Jo Grady, UCU general secretary, explained the transfer as “disgraceful” and mentioned that the college may not have adequate team at the commence of the academic 12 months in September. “Unsatisfied with slicing dozens of positions and forcing staff to go away, management at Roehampton are now threatening more of their workforce with redundancy,” she said.

“This is devastating for teaching and mastering, specially in the arts and humanities. The university has embarked upon a sham of a consultation, pretending it is listening to the concerns of workers whilst asking them to sign redundancy agreements. It is deplorable behaviour and our union is now taking into consideration a authorized problem.

“The Conservative govt has a distinct agenda to limit accessibility to the arts and humanities — topics that are very well acknowledged for encouraging important contemplating. Fairly than guarding these crucial subjects, administration at Roehampton are implementing unprecedented cuts.”

Roehampton was rated 65th in The Sunday Moments Great University Tutorial last calendar year, but moves up to 30th place for social inclusion.

Its typical scientific tests training course is perfectly regarded and can be taught with a foundation 12 months, building it obtainable to all those who have not had the probability to review historic languages at college. The foundation-12 months classics course will be reduce underneath the options.

Matthew Mordue, who is completing a PhD in classics at Roehampton and teaches Latin and classical civilisation in a point out secondary faculty, said he was “completely shocked” by the news.

“I constantly realized that the university was heading to downsize the arts and humanities but never imagined they would just kill them,” he explained on Twitter. “They assert they are carrying out this for the sake of learners. They are lying.”

Historical past British isles, which signifies academics, mentioned the cuts ended up a “direct consequence of a long time of govt coverage that has promoted the ‘marketisation’ of higher education”.

Roehampton claimed although the courses would be dropped, it was also launching new “career-focused” classes together with in arts and humanities.

“Like many United kingdom universities,” a spokesman explained, “we are observing college student need evolving, with some subject matter spots attracting wonderful demand, and we are also going through fiscal troubles due to a range of aspects, which includes caps on controlled tuition fees, removing of the London weighting element of the educating grant, rises in fees, liabilities and inflation.

“As a consequence, we are implementing a programme of adjust to rebalance our methods and accomplish our vision of delivering an superb college student working experience and delivering successful graduate results in a sustainable way. This involves producing some tricky and tough selections.”