Tutors continue to run axed courses

October 11, 2002

Tutors made redundant when their courses were axed by the University of Gloucestershire in June have established themselves as a group of independent lecturers.

Some 44 part-time and full-time staff and more than 1,000 students were affected when the continuing education department  that had offered more than 100 part-time and evening classes closed. The university said it would save £30,000, which it would use to attract students from deprived backgrounds and ethnic minorities.

But students based at the centre said they had been "unceremoniously dumped". Some staged a protest at an open day for prospective students in June.

Staff decided to continue teaching their courses and set up their own website. Hundreds of students have booked places on courses that include creative writing, psychology, art history, Spanish and yoga.

Eileen Dunlop, the tutors' spokesperson, said that the group had spent the summer finding new venues. "We wanted to continue because we’re all committed to teaching," she said. "we've also had a lot of interest from colleges which have been contacting us for lecturers."

Ms Dunlop said that the group was now looking for funding. "A lot of tutors have already paid for things out of their own pockets. We aren't doing this for the money, we’re doing it because all of us think it is fun to teach and work with students."

Details: www.independentlecturers.co.uk

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