Sussex

University of Sussex adult learning cuts 'hammer blow'

Up to 15 full-time jobs are at risk as the University of Sussex proposes to axe some adult learning courses.

The university said the courses were running at an annual loss of £350,000 and would cease at the end of the academic year.

The proposal will also affect 127 tutors who are employed on hourly contracts to take the sessions.

The University and College Union (UCU) said it was a "hammer blow to adult learning in the county".

The courses - in topics as varied as British cinema, the Crusades and Christmas customs - are held at the Centre for Community Engagement (CCE).

'Vital lifeline'

A university spokeswoman said the courses did not lead to professional qualifications and were not an alternative route into higher education.

She said it would continue to offer some CCE courses including sign language and deaf studies.

Vice-Chancellor Prof Michael Farthing said: "We regret that this proposal would end evening classes and day schools which have been enjoyed by local people over the years.

"However, given the government's policies regarding the funding of higher education, the university can no longer support such courses."

Luke Martell, the UCU branch president in Sussex, said: "These plans would be a hammer blow to adult learning in the county and deprive many people of a vital lifeline back into education and training.

"No other centre in the area offers it range of provision."

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