Round-up of Opposition to the Proposed Closure of Vaughan Centre

Opposition from Unions, Students, MPs and the Public
Round-up of Opposition to the Proposed Closure of Vaughan Centre

Poster by the Save Vaughan Public Campaign

UCU Opposition

Statement of opposition from Leicester UCU

Letter to the Leicester Mercury from UCU, Unite & Unison

The Unions are also working closely with staff affected by the proposal.

Save Vaughan - Public Campaign

Save Vaughan Centre for Lifelong Learning Facebook Page

Save Vaughan Twitter Account - also see #savevaughan

Petition opposing the closure of the Vaughan Centre

The Save Vaughan campaign are also speaking to local press and have appeared on Radio Leicester - see their FB & Twitter for more information.

MPs John Ashworth & Liz Kendall have also opposed the closure.

Student Union Statements

Statement from Rachel Holland, President of ULSU, Monday 13 May 2016

VAUGHAN CENTRE FOR LIFELONG LEARNING

So at the latter end of last week, the University announced that they were doing a consultation with the intention of closing the Vaughan Centre for Lifelong Learning, two years after they assured that lifelong learning would continue to be a priority of the University of Leicester. This is an issue that will impact on over 300 students, and while I’ve not had a chance yet to articulate my thoughts and opinions on this, there is a grave concern from us as an SU relating to the students, staff, and community impact this decision will have. I will be posting something more substantial towards the end of the week. If you have any concerns, please email myself, SU-President@le.ac.uk, or if it’s something you want to ask the University, then email askus@le.ac.uk

 

Statement from Rob Greenhill, Mature and Part-Time Students’ Officer, University of Leicester Students’ Union, 15th June

The Vaughan Centre for Lifelong Learning is the University of Leicester's 'Department of Second Chances' for those for whom the conventional route was, for whatever reason, not an option. It is the standard-bearer of a proud tradition of adult education in this city that stretches back over 150 years. Thousands of students have benefitted from the outstanding professionalism and commitment of VCLL staff over the years.

As one of those students, shortly to graduate, and as the current Mature and Part-Time Students' Officer, I see this proposal as a betrayal not only of a proud heritage, but of the University of Leicester's commitment to both widening participation and engagement with the local community. As a student representative I have been assured repeatedly over the years of the university's commitment to Lifelong Learning against a background of closures of similar departments elsewhere. Education has to be about more than the bottom line, or it is no longer worthy of the name.

A campaign to save Vaughan and oppose this closure has grown rapidly since the official announcement was made. A Facebook group now has 342 members. An online petition has attracted over 1,200 signatures. Signatories include current students (many understandably anxious about their prospects), alumni, staff past and present and external examiners, with many eloquent comments about the transformative power and engine of social engagement that is part-time education. Numerous contacts have been made with print and broadcast media, as well as councillors, the Mayor of Leicester and local MPs. Jon Ashworth and Liz Kendall were both quick to offer support. There is more to come, and I intend to be in the thick of it. It is easy to offer words of solidarity, but actions are likely to prove more useful. For the remaining weeks of my tenure this campaign is my top priority, and I am proud to give my unqualified support.

Meanwhile I urge the Vice-Chancellor, in the strongest possible terms: think beyond the next financial year and any short-term savings that this proposed closure might bring; ask yourself whether the damage to the ethos and reputation of the University of Leicester might not prove more costly in a cut-throat educational ‘marketplace’; finally, consider whether this university, supposedly committed to widening participation, yet prepared to sacrifice such a department on the altar of expediency, could still credibly claim to be ‘Elite without being elitist.’

Rob Greenhill

Mature and Part-Time Students’ Officer

University of Leicester Students’ Union

 

 

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