PR lecturer resigns in protest over lack of staff

November 5, 2009

A lecturer has resigned from his job at the London College of Communication, claiming that the institution is not properly supporting its students.

Paul Simpson was course director of the BA in public relations, which survived a cull of 16 out of 19 courses in the School of Creative Enterprise over the summer.

He resigned last week, having raised concerns about the lack of teaching support available for students on the three remaining courses: the BA and MA in public relations, and the BA in creative advertising.

A final-year student on the BA in public relations told Times Higher Education that redundancies meant students were having to cope without dissertation supervision, adding that there were too few personal tutors to go round and that lectures were being cancelled.

Mr Simpson confirmed that he had stepped down in protest against the situation, but declined to make further comment.

His departure leaves only one full-time tutor, Sarah Bowman, the MA course director, on the three remaining courses. All other teaching will now be done by associate lecturers on short-term contracts.

A report in Arts London News, the student newspaper, says that following Mr Simpson's resignation, almost 100 undergraduates attempted to occupy the office of Sandra Kemp, the college's head, in protest against the management of their courses.

The students have filed a list of complaints, including the lack of specialist content, specialist staff and work placements.

They are demanding a public apology and "a return to the 2008-09 staff-to-student ratios, with a particular focus on dissertation supervision".

They claim the lack of specialist teaching is a reason why the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, the largest PR institute in Europe, has not accredited the BA course.

A college spokeswoman said it was committed to the remaining courses, which were "continuing to be fully resourced by public relations specialists, both academic and practitioner ... All enrolled students have the necessary supervision."

melanie.newman@tsleducation.com.

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 6 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

United Nations peace keeper

Understanding the unwritten rules of graduate study is vital if you want to get the most from your PhD supervision, say Kevin O'Gorman and Robert MacIntosh

David Parkins Christmas illustration (22 December 2016)

A Dickensian tale, set in today’s university

Eleanor Shakespeare illustration (5 January 2017)

Fixing problems in the academic job market by reducing the number of PhDs would homogenise the sector, argues Tom Cutterham

Houses of Parliament, Westminster, government

There really is no need for the Higher Education and Research Bill, says Anne Sheppard

poi, circus

Kate Riegle van West had to battle to bring her circus life and her academic life together