SCOTTISH students are furious after receiving an email informing them about course cuts – in the middle of their exams.
A professor issued the warning to students at Strathclyde University and then wished them good luck in their exams.
The proposed cuts would save 750,000 by axing up to 25 jobs and cutting courses in humanties and social sciences.
Degrees in music, community education, geography and sociology could be scrapped.
The email from Professor Tony McGrew, the Dean of faculty, states:
“At Strathclyde, we’re continually reviewing our activities to ensure we maintain our reputation for excellent teaching and research, and a positive student .
“We are also proposing to re-shape some of our academic areas. This would involve a phased withdrawal.
“These proposals are currently under consultation and it is crucial to stress that no decisions have yet been made.
“I want to reassure you that no matter what the decision, you will be able to complete your course as expected, and will graduate from the University with a degree recognised as a mark of excellence around the world.
He ends the email:
“Good luck with your examinations. “
The cuts were today ( wed) condemned by staff and students who said that the university was picking on subjects that didn’t
“conform to a narrow ideology of what education should look like.”
Philip Whyte, the president of the Strathclyde Students’ Association, said:
“The decision to announce these proposals and consultation process at the same time as thousands of students on these courses goes to sit exams is at best insensitive, and at worst downright duplicitous. “
A Facebook page has been set up by the Students’ Association and an email sent around to staff and students encouraging them to sign a letter to be sent to university bosses.
An online petition as also been set up against the closures entitled
“Save our Subjects’ which already has over 200 signatures.
An email sent by the Strathclyde Students’ Association said:
“Each of the departments earmarked for closure all have an excellent track record in terms of student satisfaction, top quality teaching staff, and contribute greatly to the academic standards of our university. “
“Moreover, students have been informed at a time when they’re sitting exams – exams in subjects deemed unimportant it would seem by the university.
“Over the next month we’ll be working hard to put the case for each of the departments to the university – but we need your help. Make sure you get involved with the campaign and come together to Save our Subjects. “
Philip Whyte said:
“Once again, for all its talk of equal footing for the arts and humanities, this university has shown its true colours – namely the sacrifice of popular and academically robust courses on the altar of research.
“Each course mooted for closure has been proven to stand up to academic scrutiny, student satisfaction scores, employability and a raft of other such metrics. Yet because they fail to conform to the research standards of a narrowly defined
“international technological university’, they find the axe swinging in their direction.
A spokesman for Strathclyde University confirmed that under the new proposals the BA honours in Community Education and the BA Arts and Social Sciences Honours in Geography and Sociology will be withdrawn.
He also confirmed that the BA in Applied Music, which was withdrawn in 2010, will not be replaced.
“A strong Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences is critical to the delivery of the University’s academic aim of encouraging multi-disciplinary research and teaching.
“The new Faculty has developed a distinctive vision which will strengthen its reputation in teacher education, English, history, journalism, languages, law, psychological sciences and health, social work and social policy, government and public policy.
“These proposals will allow it to build its research profile, deliver teaching excellence informed by current thinking, and make an even greater impact on society through the development of a strong public policy portfolio. “
Only last month it was revealed that Strathclyde intended to shut the historic Ramshorn Theatre and the Collins Art Gallery, arguing they could no longer be supported through public funds.
These new proposals will go out to consultation to the wider university and academic senate before a final decision is taken at the ruling court on June 28.