One site does not fit all

October 29, 2015

We wish to register our dismay at vice-chancellor John Raftery’s asset-stripping, course-closing, job-cutting plan for London Metropolitan University, which has been spun as a “one campus, one community” investment programme (“London Met to focus teaching on single campus”, 12 October).

Despite Raftery’s claim of support from the students’ union, the union representative in the Sir John Cass Faculty of Art placed her objections online within hours of the announcement, followed soon after by a petition that has almost 2,000 signatures. The purpose-built Cass recently received substantial investment but is now to be closed and those staff who are retained will be moved to the North London campus.

The planned reduction in student numbers by almost 3,000 to a maximum of 10,000 means course cuts across the university, including The Cass’ music courses and its music technology and musical instruments programmes – the last instrument-making BSc course in the country. This has happened without consulting those affected. Given the failure of similar “cut-to-succeed, get-rich-quick schemes” over the past nine years, we must restate our belief that for London Met to survive and thrive, our senior management need to escape the bonds of their collective downsizing agenda.

We call on our board of governors to intervene immediately, halt the sale of The Cass’ building and these precipitous course closures, and work with us and our members to develop a realistic forward-looking plan for a “two-campus” estate. This should maintain and grow our significant arts and design presence in Aldgate, while ensuring appropriate investment in our Holloway Road estate.

Mark Campbell
London Metropolitan University UCU (chair)

David Hardman
London Metropolitan University UCU (secretary)

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