Students save threatened University of Liverpool departments

 May 14, 2009         Leave a comment

My congratulations to a group of students on Facebook under the name of Save Our Subjects.

Following up on the university’s previous statement that it intended to close all of these departments, Save Our Subjects has pressured the University of Liverpool into reviewing its plans to close the departments of Politics & Communications, Philosophy and the division of statistics.

It’s heartening to see students achieving a deserved victor, that is as much a victory for common sense, something for which the University is not well known.

I fully expected the university to railroad its plans through, without much regard for the ramifications on students, lecturers and the profile of the university.

Hopefully this doesn’t entail an old tactic of union-busting governments and businesses where an apparent disaster is avoided, only for a watered-down version of the same plan to sneek in under the radar at a later date.

From my dealings with the university, it wouldn’t surprise me.

• A full statement from the group, which appears on their Facebook page is below, as I see no point in paraphrasing, although I do hope the phrase ‘this has been a clear sign that student apathy is not dead’ is a typo:

The SOS campaign team is delighted to hear that the University’s Senior Management Team have abolished their proposals for closure of the School of Politics and Communication Studies, the Department of Philosophy and the Division of Statistics and Probability within the Department of Mathematical Sciences. The SMT will recommend that rather than closure, these departments should be given the opportunity to implement recovery plans in an effort to improve research performance.

SOS was formed to fight the proposed closures of the concerned departments and its sole goal was to ensure that these disciplines continued at our University. This is a clear victory for the SOS campaign and we can only express our thanks to the University for listening to all those who raised opposition to the proposed closures.

The SOS campaign team has worked tirelessly to ensure that the University knew the strength of feeling within the student body, the academic community, alumni, local Councillors, MPs and the local community. Through constant lobbying and media coverage, as well as outside pressure from academics, SOS has been able to achieve its primary goal.

The SOS campaign team would like to thank everyone who has expressed concern and anger towards the original proposals for closure. We would like to thank all the students, staff and community members who turned up to the original protest back in March. This was a key and decisive indication to the University that they would not be able to close these disciplines. All academics that spoke out against the proposals at senate must also be commended. SOS would like to thank the Daily Post and the Echo for their continuous support. This has been vital both in keeping pressure on the University an in alerting the community to the proposed closures.

This has not been a campaign of confrontation but has instead looked to form a coherent argument whereby we have tried to persuade all those involved in dialogue with the University that these proposals should be abolished.

This has been a clear sign that student apathy is not dead at the University of Liverpool. We hope that these departments can play an important role in the future of our University and that we can improve together. The SOS campaign team will do our utmost to ensure these departments improve research and that the student experience is not compromised.

Thanks again to all those who have voiced their concerns. Students do have the power to facilitate change. This should never be forgotten.

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