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Axe falls on courses at UWIC
Administrators at University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC) have decided to axe six arts and humanities courses, while making serious cutbacks to its acclaimed Cardiff School of Arts and Design.
Courses in sociology, architecture and music technology are among those being dropped, while intake into sculpture will be reduced by 65%. University bosses made the decision without consultation with students and finalised it in a closed-door meeting held while students were away for Christmas. A previous meeting of the University board had been met by a peaceful but passionate demonstration of 200 UWIC students demanding that university courses not be cut.
UWIC is making the course cuts in anticipation of a merger with the nearby University of Glamorgan. Planning for the cuts began even before the Welsh Assembly announced a 9.3% cutback in higher education funding and before the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales demanded that the eleven universities in Wales merge to five by 2013.
While the Welsh Assembly Government claims university mergers are to reduce administrative costs, the experience at UWIC and elsewhere in Wales shows students and staff, not top managers, will suffer if cutbacks and mergers are implemented on bosses' terms.
UWIC students have linked up with their lecturers, as represented by the University and College Union, in campaigning against the course cuts.
Representatives of the UWIC students will attend a mass public meeting on 3 February in Cardiff which will link up all the student, trade union and community anti-cuts campaigns in the city into a democratic body ready to fight against all cutbacks, whether they come from the Lib Dem-Tory coalition in London or the Labour-Plaid Cymru coalition in Cardiff Bay.
In The Socialist 12 January 2011:
Youth fight for jobs
International socialist news and analysis
National Shop Stewards Network
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news