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Open Days: Students will not understand proposed course closures.

September 9, 2015

Just ahead of Ulster University Open Days, management instructed staff not to offer any information to school and college students about courses that they propose to close and, if asked, tell the students these courses would not be recruiting for 2016 entry. Yet management have a legal responsibility to consult with the recognised trade unions on their redundancy proposals, including course closures, which they have not done.

Anthea Irwin, President of UCU at Ulster said, ‘Open Week is usually a happy, vibrant time, when staff take pride in introducing our broad range of excellent courses to potential students, and help enable them to make the best choices for their futures. This year, we continue to do our best for the young people of our province, but we are angry and frustrated that management are presenting as a fait accompli what are only proposals at this stage.

‘Course talks have been pulled at the last minute. Students have arrived full of excitement about discussing courses that, up until today, they were planning to apply for, and they don’t understand the reasons for the proposed closures. Neither do staff, because management have failed to provide us with any rationale. The Northern Ireland Executive are failing our young people by not investing sufficiently in Higher Education. But our own management are failing those young people too, by trying to savagely cut what we offer them without consulting the people who actually teach the courses and know how important they are to our society and economy.

‘UCU continues to challenge Ulster University Management to fulfil its obligations to consult meaningfully and come up with a set of proposals that protect the future of our young people’s education and avoid job losses.’

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