Last of the Westland Whigs

In the late 17th century, the 'Westland Whigs' were the radical descendants of earlier Covenanters who had defied the absolutist rule of Stuart kings in south west Scotland.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Dumfries Campus of Glasgow University under threat- again.

From STV today 15 February 2011.

Playwright Sir Tom Stoppard has put his name to an open letter along with more than 150 academics against cuts to courses at Glasgow University.

Baroness Onora O'Neill, former president of the British Academy, and author Professor Marina Warner have also signed the letter which was sent to Education Secretary Michael Russell on Tuesday.

Earlier this month details emerged of a cost-cutting proposal to scrap some courses and merge others to help save Glasgow University £20m. History, archaeology and classics could be merged and anthropology with social work courses also axed.

The proposals, by the university's senior management group, will be put forward at a meeting of the institution's court group on Wednesday but no decision would be made until a further meeting scheduled for later this year.

The letter states: "Universities are independent institutions, but they are publicly-funded and are a vital part of the economic, cultural and social fabric of this country. The future of university funding in Scotland is unclear.

"Pending decisions on future funding mechanisms and levels, which will be taken following the Scottish elections in May, every effort must be made to avoid damaging and irreversible cuts to subject areas.

"The management of any one institution must not be allowed to pre-empt political decisions and unilaterally decide the shape of future educational provision in key disciplines in Scotland's largest city."

The letter also said teaching and research in modern languages and cultures had "suffered severe attrition" in Scotland in recent years.

It continued: "We call on you as the minister responsible for higher education to do everything in your power to influence the management of the University of Glasgow and to ensure that the university continues to fulfil its historic role as an outward-looking institution rooted in the community that it serves rather than working primarily to maximise income in the international marketplace."

The university is also seeking a review of its Centre for Drugs Misuse Research and considering cutting back evening and weekend classes, which cater for up to 5000 adults a year. The university's Dumfries campus could also be affected with the cut of courses in the liberal arts in favour of an expansion in environmental management.

The proposals would make combined savings of around £3m as part of a wider strategy to find £20m in savings by 2012-13. A consultation on proposals to save money will get under way after tomorrow's meeting of the university court if they are approved.


Post a Comment

<< Home