ART lecturers and students at the University of South Wales (USW) are gearing up to protest against the foundation course’s closure this Friday. (march 20)

Staff hope around 100 people will show up to voice their support for the one-year foundation course, which is currently based at the soon-to-close Caerleon campus.

The protest will be held outside USW’s Newport city campus from 10am to noon and a petition of more than 400 signatures is to be handed in.

USW announced last September that its Caerleon campus is to close, with teaching to finish at the site in summer 2016.

Five members of staff on the Foundation Art and Design course however were told not to recruit for the forthcoming academic year and that their jobs are to go this summer.

A USW spokesman previously said the university had undertaken a review of its courses and has decided to focus on higher education.

Lecturer in Fine Art, Edward Jeavons said: “I think it’s a short-sighted decision, we feed into their degree programme. That’s what we’ve done for years and given a lot of students to their degree courses.

“The alternatives for students isn’t suitable.”

Mr Jeavons said this year the course if catering for around 50 students but has previously taught up to 100.

“It’s fantastic to see the support,” he added. “We’re really quite touched by it. Some of our students have gone on to do great things.”

A USW spokesman previously said: “Foundation art and design is not a higher education course but a subject which is more commonly undertaken in further education colleges.

“As part of our strategic portfolio review the university has decided to focus the university’s provision at level four (higher education courses).

“The same course is also delivered locally by Coleg Gwent and indirectly the university’s withdrawal from this subject area will help secure the viability of foundation art and design in the region.

“This takes nothing away from the passion and dedication with which staff have delivered this course.

“We accept that this is disappointing news for them, but we will work with them to try and find an acceptable outcome at this difficult time.”

To support the campaign, visit the ‘Save Foundation Art Newport’ Facebook page.