Buckinghamshire New University students fight to save furniture degrees from the chop

Campaigners believe furniture is part of High Wycombe heritage

Students at Buckinghamshire New University have launched a social media campaign against the closure of two undergraduate furniture degree courses announced by officials earlier this week.

A Facebook page, titled “In Support of Furniture courses at Bucks New Uni”, has attracted more than 2,000 likes since its creation with campaigners hoping that the pressure will prompt decision-makers to reverse their plans.

BA (Hons) Furniture and FDA Furniture: Conservation, Restoration and Decorative Arts are among the nine courses that have been scrapped by the university following a review into student numbers, cost and investment.

In a statement, the institution said that the decision had not been taken lightly, but that it was necessary so that it can “refocus efforts on areas which meet the demands of students and employers and on further improvements to our campuses and student experience for the benefit of all”.

Students, alumni and the residents of High Wycombe have raised concerns because of the area’s heritage as a furniture-making town.

Sophie Kemp, a first year undergraduate and one of the leading campaigners, said: “I feel that the closing of all of these courses are shocking, but what I find worse is the closure of the two remaining furniture courses here, as they had already axed the other furniture courses.

“This is High Wycombe's heritage and is something that is very important to many people. High Wycombe furniture students are positively recognised nationally in the world of furniture. As a university I feel that furniture is its greatest asset and would be a great loss both to the university and High Wycombe itself.”

The university insists that the area’s historical connection with the furniture making industry would remain, adding that the university’s National School of Furniture would continue, allowing them to recruit “specialist work-related foundation degrees and continue to teach furniture at postgraduate level".

A spokesperson said: “We appreciate the strength of feeling and we have not taken this difficult decision lightly. Students are of course entitled to express their opinions, and we are working with the Students’ Union and with students directly to help them understand the University’s decision.”

Those undergraduates who are already studying will continue to do so until the end of their degree programme, but prospective students who have already been given an offer will be contacted by their academic department and student recruitment team where they will be offered a different route of study.

 

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant Bristol

£18000 - £23000 per annum + + uncapped commission + benefits: SThree: Did you ...

SThree: Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + benefits + uncapped commission: SThree: Did you kn...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate / Junior Web Developer

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions