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.”