On Friday 9 October, the Vice Chancellor of London Metropolitan University launched the ‘One Campus, One Community’ project. The aim of this project is to close down two out of three of London Met’s campuses and for the whole of the university to be housed at Holloway Road campus.
Both students and staff at London Met agree that this is negation on our University’s widening participation promise, a massive attack on education and we are determined to unite together to stop the University management in their tracks.
These cuts will lead to courses being, in the words of the University management “discontinued”, staff losing their jobs and prospective students losing the opportunity to study as the number of student places will be reduced.
Outrage at these plans is widespread. The staff trade union has issued a statement saying:
“we believe that this is likely to lead to major course cuts, decrease in student places and job losses that could easily continue London Met’s ‘spiral of decline’, destroy the overall widening-participation mission of London Met, and inevitably jeopardise its long-established historical roots to the vibrant East London arts community.”
Over 2,000 people have already signed this petition opposing the plans, initiated by the London Met University Students’ Union Officer Amanda Marillier.
We are angry because we know this is going to lead to so many important courses being abolished. The Music Instrument course in the CASS, the only course of its kind in the entire country has been ear marked for closure. We suspect that a large number of courses in the Faculty of Business and Law are also under threat.
We know that the University disgracefully is the process of selling the home of our world renowned CASS faculty in Aldgate to the highest bidder – either luxury property developers or the banking industry. How on earth will our art, architecture and design students find the space to study at an already overcrowded Holloway Road campus?
Or will it be within this faculty that the 2,000 student places the university admits will be cut as a result of the ‘One campus, One Community’ project be found? Stopping the university from selling this recently refurbished building, which is a fantastic learning environment in East London, is a top and immediate priority in this campaign to save London Met.
These cuts are also an attack on access to education for poor and marginalized groups in society. London Met University is an incredibly diverse institution that has provided opportunities to many people who would otherwise be excluded from education. There are more Black students at London Met than the entire top 20 universities combined and this University currently supports the largest number of women returning to education in the country.
London Met University once again finds itself at the sharp end of the Tory government’s brutal cuts agenda. Shamefully, the University management of London Met, rather than stand up for students and staff and make the case for proper, adequate funding for our University, is being a cheerleader for brutal, excessive cuts.
Students and staff at London Met are not going to let the University management get away with this without a fight – and the support of the wider student and trade union movement will be essential if we are going to succeed in stopping them.
We are calling a protest, Tuesday 10 November, 2pm outside Holloway Road Campus on the day the Academic Board meets, where some of the course closures will be sneaked in without any proper discussion or consultation of students and staff.
Join us in protesting against the savage cuts planned at London Met University.