Middlesex attacks Natfhe's course closure claims

August 10, 2001

Middlesex University this week attacked lecturers' union Natfhe - which claimed the institution risked weakening student diversity and equal opportunities by the closure of a course.

The race and culture humanities course is one of about 12 to be suspended this year. The university has yet to decide whether it will run again.

Jenny Golden, Natfhe regional officer said: "The plan to scale down the race and culture programme is a backward step. Middlesex set an example for other universities to follow when it set up the programme seven years ago. It should not weaken its commitment to diversity and equal opportunities in the education it provides."

But Marie Owens, Middlesex's director of communication, said: "To say Middlesex is not committed to diversity is preposterous."

She said the course was suspended because only four students studied it as their major subject last year, but that social sciences courses in race policy were still popular.

She said 52 per cent of the university's students defined themselves as ethnic minority.

* Middlesex lecturers are to be balloted about industrial action in September over job cuts.

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