College fears

First published in Letters

RECENT speculation about the future of the University of South Wales’ Caerleon campus must be very worrying for students, parents and staff.

It was announced last month that admissions for several courses has been suspended and media reports suggest the future of the entire site may be in doubt.

When the university was formed in a merger between the University of Wales, Newport and the University of Glamorgan, we were promised by the Welsh Labour Government no campuses or courses would be cut.

Indeed, the governing party in the Assembly, Welsh Labour, pledged in its 2011 manifesto that there would be no higher education campus closures.

The former University of Wales, Newport had a proud reputation for widening access to people who may not have otherwise considered university and even the prospect of the closure of the Caerleon campus puts all that good work at risk.

The facilities and courses available at Caerleon’s prestigious campus are a key part of the appeal of the University of South Wales and speculation that it may close is damaging and, sadly, will deter potential students.

My heart goes out to all those affected by the current insecurity and hope that the Welsh Government and the university will act quickly to secure its future.

Angela Burns AM, Shadow Minister for Education, National Assembly for Wales

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