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Kate Green MP pulls out of university event due to course closures and job cuts

7 May 2021

Shadow Secretary of State for Education Kate Green MP has given UCU members a boost in their fight against cuts to jobs and courses by pulling out of an event organised by two universities planning to close courses.

The Labour MP for Stretford and Urmston had been due to speak at an online event on Monday 10 May, organised by Aston University and London South Bank University (LSBU) but pulled out when she was made aware of plans at both universities to close courses. 

Aston University is planning to close its Department of History, Languages and Translation, putting 24 jobs at risk of redundancy. The closure will mean 10 courses being cut including BSCs in English literature, international business, history and politics. A UCU petition against the cuts has already reached over 6000 signatures. 

LSBU has taken the decision to close seven courses in its Law and Social Sciences School and to implement a wide-ranging and universal 'Portfolio Review' of its 2022 curriculum.  The local branch will be asking for a reversal of the course closure plans, a commitment to no compulsory redundancies and immediate suspension of the curriculum review. 

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: 'We welcome Kate Green's decision to pull out of the event organised by Aston and London South Bank University, as a show of support staff and students.  We must not allow universities to throw their students, staff and local communities under the bus by ending valuable education provision. Course closure would be a reckless act of academic vandalism, not only threatening the jobs, and impacting students that currently study within the departments, but also putting the excellent work that staff have done to widen participation at risk. I encourage others to follow Kate's example and take a stand against universities threatening to cut courses or jobs'. 

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