Alfred burns degree courses in status chase

March 8, 1996

King Alfred's College in Winchester is sacrificing degree courses in its quest for university status in the next decade, writes Andrew Napier.

The higher education college, which has 2,600 students and is best-known for teacher training, is to close its mathematics department and drop courses in the history of art and its combined degrees in sociology, economics and politics.

The closures will cost 14 teaching jobs and an unknown number of non-academic posts.

The college wants to boost more popular courses and apply for university status by 2005. Subjects set for expansion include psychology, business studies and the performing arts.

Principal John Dickinson said that nine of the job losses relate directly to the college's reduced funding, which the college says is down by 10 per cent for next year.

He said: "It is a matter of deepest regret to me that jobs are put at risk because of unjustified and irresponsible reductions in funding."

Andy Murray, regional secretary of lecturers' union Natfhe, said: "Students are going to be short changed. I hardly think trying to teach more with fewer staff is a sign of quality."

College officials are to meet officers of the Teacher Training Agency later this month to ask for more funds.

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