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Students protest course cutting

Students protested School of Education course cuts outside Whitworth Hall on Wednesday


Students from the University of Manchester staged a protest over the cutting of their course outside Whitworth Hall last Wednesday.

The Applied Community and Youth Work studies degree is being cut from the School of Education with no new students being taken on after the 2012/13 academic year.

Demonstrators gathered on 3 October with placards, megaphones and a sound-system in the Old Quadrangle, below the Vice Chancellor Dame Nancy Rothwell’s office.

“They haven’t given the course much time to develop,” said Protester Cliodhna Devlin, a third-year Applied Community and Youth Work studies student.

Ikmat Khadija Savage, a third-year on the same course said, “There is definitely going to be a deficit if our course is cut.”

“Each year we do 3 months placement of unpaid work in the communities of Greater Manchester, we have helped 100s and 1,000s of people.

“This course being cut won’t mean there are less people in these kind of jobs, but it will mean they won’t have the same formal training.”

“Academically we do just as much as any other course, as well as placement.”

Second year student Jeff Winstanley, said, “It’s a disgrace, they’re letting the youth down, they’re letting the people down who want to come and get a degree.

“They don’t think there are enough numbers for the course, but there’s not enough advertising.”

He added he thought the course was being cut to focus funding on research, “they want to invest more money into research, it’s a research university.”

The course officially cut focuses on training students in the study of community and youth work issues and is involved in outreach programmes.

University of Manchester Students’ Union Activities Officer Tommy Fish said, “In the time of cuts, to be cutting a course that’s geared towards helping disadvantaged members and sectors of the community is not fair.

“Community projects do nothing but good for the local community and the city. I’m fully in favour of supporting these students.”

A University of Manchester spokesman said on the issue, “As a University we regularly review the programmes and courses that we offer to ensure that we offer the highest quality experience for our students and continue to meet student demand.

“The Applied Community and Youth Work Studies programme has faced difficulties in maintaining its recruitment levels and, despite efforts to address this, we do not believe that we will be able to recruit sufficient students in the future to make this programme sustainable.

“As a University we have a strong commitment to supporting local communities and impacting positively upon them through both our research and teaching. We will continue to offer a range of programmes and courses which support this.

“The current cohort of students will continue with their programme as planned and complete their degree as they expected.”

  • suzi hoffmann

    It’s unbelievable! How can they say its got ‘problems recruiting’ when the fees are 9k and this course attracts many ordinary working class people. Its up to YOU to WIDEN participation in University, not cut any course that doesn’t make heaps of profit!!!!! A whole host of agencies have written in support of keeping this programme – these include RAPE CRISIS, THE MANCHESTER SETTLEMENT and WOMEN AGAINST VIOLENCE (the anti gun/gang project in Hulme). These students and workers were out on the streets during the riots talking young people back into their communities and offering other channels to express anger. Manchester Uni is the largest in Europe. Surely it can afford to provide training for 20 people a year to support disadvantaged people?? PLEASE REVISIT THIS DECISION! copied to David Cameron

  • TKerr

    This is the FIRST year numbers have dropped – along with many other courses where 9K is a problem.
    There have been NO special measures put in place to assist recruitment to this well established programme despite the predictable squeeze due to increased fees and entrance requirements.
    The University should support valuable courses during this period of transition – particularly for a course that traditionally recruits lower income students.
    There should be a place in the University for smaller courses addressing a special need – this is essential professional training. In this case, to engage with local communities on a more in-depth level than is possible using other University initiatives. On this programme we are required to do 888 hours of practice as well as learning about theory and policy.

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