King's College slammed for silence over closure of engineering
UCU today accused King's College London of failing to communicate with staff and students over the planned closure of the university's Division of Engineering.
UCU members wrote to the principal of King's College, Rick Trainor, back in July but have yet to receive a response or the reasons behind the decision to close the hugely popular department.
The decision to close the Division of Engineering looks even more reckless after Peter Mandelson announced this month that more funding would be priortised for STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths). The union said the university had to explain the rationale behind closing a department that is not losing money and is so vital to national priorities.
Engineering has been taught at King's College for the last 170 years and is popular at undergraduate and postgraduate level, as well as attracting high numbers of overseas students. UCU warned that the decision to axe engineering teaching would damage the university's academic reputation.
UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'The lack of detailed information given to staff and students is a disgrace. They deserve to have their questions answered and it is a crying shame that management has refused to address their concerns.
'Engineering at King's has the honour of being one of the oldest departments in the world and is vital to the UK's national interests. King's College risks charges of reckless academic vandalism if it goes ahead with these plans.'