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LETTER TO ROEHAMPTON UNIVERSITY EXECUTIVES TO PROTEST PLANNED REDUNDANCIES AND COURSE CLOSURES
Email to: Vice-Chancellor firstname.lastname@example.org
Cc Provost email@example.com
Cc Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education) firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Jean-Noël Ezingeard, Anna Gough-Yates, and Stephen Driver
I am a [state your position/job/experience if useful or unclear from your signoff]
I am writing to protest against the planned programme closures and redundancies at your university.
Universities should promote education as widely as possible. Yet your current proposals restrict access to subjects traditionally considered ‘elite’ across the arts, humanities and life sciences for your majority working-class and ethnic minority student intake. A shift to skills-based training is by no means guaranteed to improve their access to good jobs or social mobility. This is a terrible mistake and I ask you to rescind the plans.
In the past Roehampton has not only excelled at opening access to critical disciplines whose merit is not quantifiable merely by metrics of employability, it has also succeeded by those very same metrics. Graduate employability in many of these programmes exceeds that of the Business degrees you prefer to leave untouched. It may be the policy of the current government to ignore the importance of cultural industries but this government will not be around forever. I urge you to step back from the enthusiastic implementation of untested, politically-motivated restrictions to education.
Your arguments also focus on the financial health of the institution. Given the lack of clear evidence of urgent financial need, however, and the managerial track record so far, one might look at your current plans with suspicion. One might for example look to the massive debt incurred on recent buildings – the consultation on which did not properly involve staff, and hence now lie unfit and under-utilised.
Thousands of students will return in September to an unrecognisable university with many of their lecturers, supervisors, and tutors gone, modules cancelled, class sizes shooting up, and provision in disarray. As a result, Roehampton’s reputation will be several damaged and its achievements severely degraded.
What you are planning is an act of irreparable vandalism to education and to British cultural life, not to mention to the lives of your workforce and students. One can only hope that you are able to take stock of these widely-supported comments and rethink your plans for course closures and compulsory redundancies immediately.