'Bonfire of the lecturers' begins as courses cut

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A University is to reduce the number of courses it provides by 70 per cent as part of a radical shake-up of its undergraduate curriculum.

London Metropolitan University is cutting its courses from 557 to 160 as it grapples with the financial headache of having to give £36.7m back to the Government, after it was found to have claimed money for students no longer enrolled on courses.

Malcolm Gillies, the university's vice-chancellor, said the reduction in courses would mean the loss of lecturers' and administrators' jobs.

However, student numbers are unlikely to be affected as many of the courses being cut attracted only a handful of students. The university also announced it would be charging fees of between £4,500 and £9,000 a year from next September. The £4,500 fee would be part of an attempt to widen participation. It would apply to students who need a "year zero" to prepare for a full degree course, offering them a discounted rate for that year. Popular courses in architecture and social work will attract the maximum figure.

Students will also be offered a longer teaching year of 30 weeks in an attempt to cut down on the university's drop-out rate, which is among the highest in the country. Lecturers' leaders have warned there will be industrial action if jobs are threatened by the shake-up.