Despite yesterday’s demonstration of about fifty students and lecturers, University of Southampton bosses have today confirmed that the planned cancellation of Sports degree courses will go ahead.
A university press release confirmed, ‘following extensive consideration‚ the University’s governing Council yesterday endorsed the proposal for a phased withdrawal from two academic sports programmes and two foundation degree programmes in the School of Education – BSc (Hons) Sport Studies; BA (Hons) Managing and Developing Sport; Working With Children FdA (Foundation Degree) and Youth Work FdA (Foundation Degree)’.
The decision which was passed on to Union members today comes as a huge disappointment for both students and lecturers at the University.
The press release further stated, ”This decision was not taken for financial reasons. The University continually reviews its course provision to ensure a positive fit with our strategic direction and position as a leading international research university. However‚ the decision to close courses is never taken lightly’.
Below is a copy of the e-mail sent to students today to inform them of the decision:
Dear Student/ Colleague
I explained in an email prior to Christmas that during the Autumn Term the University conducted a Review of the School of Education to consider its future. The Review Panel considered the range of programmes offered by the School and as a result, made a recommendation to the University Executive Group (UEG) that the School should have a phased withdrawal from Sports programmes with the final recruitment in 2010 and from FdA ‘Working with Children’ and FdA ‘ Youth Work’. The University Executive Group agreed with this proposal. Since that time the Dean, myself and other senior staff from the School of Education have met with students and student representatives on a number of occasions to talk though the process. We explained that Council would consider the recommendation from UEG and make the final decision. Consequently a report was presented to Council for a phased withdrawal over four years and considered on March 25th. Council has determined that the withdrawal will be implemented. The staff most closely affected have been informed. I am contacting all students on Sport and FdA programmes to inform them of this.
I shall be speaking to your representatives, both at University and at School level, and I will also be convening a meeting for all students as soon as possible. I will also be considering staffing needs to ensure that all aspects of the programme, as specified in the validation, remain until the programmes close. Individual conversations will take place with staff to enable planning of staffing throughout the four year period.
I understand that some of you may find such change unsettling. However all universities periodically change the profile of their courses. This is vital for their ongoing health. The proposed change at Southampton is part of a process to ensure that the University remains world class. I know some of you have expressed concern at a potential impact on your study. Please be assured that the School and the University will do everything in their power to make sure that the student experience is unaffected and that you are able to complete your degree successfully.
Professor Jacky Lumby
Head of School of Education
If you have any views on the decision to cut sports courses at the University, the way in which the process was conducted, or the reasons behind the decision, please feel free to leave your opinion below.