universities - swansea closures


Richard Davies, vice-chancellor of Swansea University, is trying to close five of its departments: Sociology, Anthropology, Philosophy, Development Studies and Chemistry. Students due to start their courses at the threatened departments this autumn received letters from Davies telling them that they would not be able to come and study at Swansea after all.

The Association of University Teachers and the National Union of Students are both strongly opposing the proposed closures. An emergency injunction has prevented the vice-chancellor from taking any further steps towards closure.

Meanwhile, a new report from the Association of University Teachers shows that higher education was better off under the Conservatives. Public spending on higher education fell by 7.5% in real terms between 1994-95 and 2003-04. In 1994-95, 0.64% of GDP was spent on it, compared with 0.63% this year. The reason is a 56% fall in real-term public spending on student support, from £3.7 billion in 1994-95 to just £1.6 billion this year.