Call on McConnell to intervene over Crichton

8 February 2007 | last updated: 14 December 2015

UCU Scotland has written to the first minister urging him to intervene to avert a decision by Glasgow University court which would spell the beginning of the end of the university's involvement on the Crichton campus in Dumfries.

Glasgow University court will be asked to decide, at its meeting on Wednesday 14 February, to cease undergraduate admissions with immediate effect. This will affect students who have already applied to study at Crichton and threaten the redundancy of Glasgow University staff at the campus.

UCU is urging the Court to wait until the outcome of three significant events:

  • The next spending review which may increase funding for higher education.
  • The outcome of the funding council review which is likely to increase support for higher education provision in rural areas.
  • The member's debate in the Scottish parliament which occurs the day after the court meeting.

UCU calls on the Scottish executive to increase funding for higher education in the South of Scotland as it did with the Highlands and Islands which now receives ten times the funding of Dumfries and Galloway.

In the letter to the first minister UCU Scottish official, David Bleiman, says: 'Just as it took a political initiative to develop higher education in the Highlands and Islands, there is clearly scope for Ministers to intervene now to knock heads together and to provide the necessary financial support and guidance so that the wider economic and social needs of the region can be properly supported by higher education provision.'

Alastair Hunter, UCU Scotland president and a staff representative on the Glasgow University court said: 'We deplore the haste of the Glasgow University court to take the axe to Crichton student admissions. Court must give the unions, the students and all those concerned with the local economy and the best interests of Dumfries and Galloway enough time to campaign for the necessary additional public funding. To stop admitting students now would be to throw in the towel before the end of round one.'

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