Save the Vaughan

September 15, 2016

In my decade as a lecturer and director of studies at the University of Leicester (1997-2007), the vice-chancellor – Sir Robert Burgess – regularly trumpeted the achievements of Vaughan College, the focus of the university’s adult education provision. He understood that part of the mission of a world-class institution includes the education of local residents.

Burgess moved the higher education work of Vaughan College to the university’s main campus in 2013, renaming it “Vaughan Centre for Lifelong Learning” (VCLL). At this time, he made a promise to the people of Leicester: “Moving adult education provision to our main campus is an important part in ensuring the viability and continuing success of the Vaughan tradition…Vaughan really does matter to me, but it is about more than a building, and we are bringing it into the heart of the university.”

Just three years later, the new vice-chancellor, Paul Boyle, is proposing to shut down this landmark of local learning. He may claim that the university’s wider financial problems force this closure, but he is losing face and public goodwill in the process.

Boyle should use his considerable management skills in making the tough strategic choice of withdrawing the threat of closure. The goodwill of maintaining and strengthening a pillar of Leicester’s local community – Vaughan College was founded in 1862, making it well over 50 years older than the University of Leicester – is beyond price.

Let us hope, before it is too late, that the University of Leicester may retain a modicum of common sense, if not decency, in maintaining the Vaughan Centre, its provision and its staff.

George Ferzoco
Research fellow and teaching fellow
University of Bristol


Send to

Letters should be sent to: THE.Letters@tesglobal.com
Letters for publication in Times Higher Education should arrive by 9am Monday.
View terms and conditions.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns