Students of Lincoln University's fine art degree in Hull have threatened to take legal action to overturn plans to close their course and make staff redundant.
"We consider the authorities to have been thoroughly discourteous to tutors and students by not consulting about plans to review fine art in Hull," a statement says this week.
A Lincoln spokesman said a BA in fine art, video, sound and digital imaging would be launched in 2004 to replace the existing fine art programme, which has suffered a decline in student numbers over the past four years. "We have reinvented our fine art degree to make it progressive, innovative and appropriate for the 21st century," a statement says. "Existing students should not be concerned since all areas of the course will continue to be covered by specialist staff."
But students fear that the redundancies - 12 of the 13 faculty members - will leave them without adequate supervision.
Gary Mckeown, a second-year student, said there had been a unanimous vote of no confidence in the university management last week.
Vice-chancellor David Chiddick said the teaching of painting and sculpture at Hull was uneconomic. "In recent years these subjects have been subsidised by other subjects in the university to the point where they have become unsustainable."