A demonstration of around fifty students and lecturers today gathered outside the University’s student services centre whilst members of the University Council met to make a final decision on the proposed closure of Sports degree’s.
The University Council meeting is expected to last until around eight this evening and Sports degree lecturers will be informed of the final decision over the proceeding 24 hours. Despite torrid rain in the latter stages of the protest the demonstrators stood strong with numerous chants such as, ‘Don’t do any sacking, send the VC packing’ being cried as members of the council gathered to meet.
On the intended effect of the demonstration Ian Hamilton, a lecturer of sport development and a trade union representative for the school of education, said ‘We hope for the council to halt the program of review because our belief is that there’s been a lack of transparency and we hope they reconsider and have a new review where there is consultation with the staff affected’. Hamilton further added, ‘with the prospect of the 2012 Olympics the University should consider the enormous potential for its students to contribute to the future’. The protest looks to have shown the University that people are unhappy with the way in which decisions have been made with very little communication with staff. With merely hours left before lecturers and students alike find out the outcome all they can do is wait and hope for the best. However, University officials did meet with members of the University and College Union and as one lecturer put it, they ‘gave us the impression they will talk about it. It seemed successful as a lobby. They listened carefully and also asked questions which is a good sign’.