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University of South Wales at Risk of Strike Action

Posted by Kristina Murkett

Members of the University and College Union (UCU) at the University of South Wales have voted to strike following the university's decision to close down foundation art and design.

77% of those who voted backed industrial action - the union said it wanted the university to "come back to the negotiating table" to explore redeployment options or severance schemes for the four staff who lost their jobs in this closure. A petition to save the course has already gained more than 930 signatures.

UCU Wales official Margaret Phelan said: "Closing this course will leave the people of Newport without a vital learning opportunity - which is more bad news for a region already suffering cuts to education." She also noted that: "Strike action is always a last resort and we remain open to negotiations."

However, a spokesman for the University of South Wales insisted that "The course is closing as part of a normal, reasonable academic decision to focus the university's teaching on higher education. One member of staff has already been successfully redeployed and the university has offered enhanced redundancy terms to the four others affected."

In September the university announced the controversial closure of its Caerleon campus, which caters for around 7000 students, and plans to invest £3m into its Newport City campus instead over the next two to three years.

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons.