Surrey students are occupying the Nodus Centre on campus to protest the cutting of the BA Dance and BA Theatre and Performance courses in the Guildhall School of Acting, part of Surrey University.
Last week students and staff voted overwhelmingly that they had no confidence in senior management, who threaten 300 job losses on top of course cuts as part of a programme of £15 million cuts.
Cathryn Fenton, Rebekah Kerley and Peter Ferguson said in Surrey politics magazine Incite:
“Since it was announced there has been a series of mis-management from the University of Surrey and GSA.
Prospective students for the programmes were offered, and have confirmed, places on the courses only for them to be revoked via email; they have been offered no support or reason form the University.
PhD students within the department discovered the closure from social media and rumour, many are losing their supervisors as a result of the closure.
Students on their Professional Training Year and temporary withdrawal were not contacted by the school concerning the closure until management were prompted to let them know.
Current students have received no reassurance of the way in which the rest of their degree is to be delivered with the reduced numbers of staff and the lack of incoming students (which is vital for modules in which students collaborate).”
Read their demands here (plain text version below):
To provide a transparent statement concerning the terms of closure, addressing the misinformation of ‘suspension’ vs ‘closure’. Otherwise, commit to reinstate the course and liaise with current students about the process.
To confirm that there will be no further redundancies or compulsory redundancies of all staff.
To confirm that the jobs of the Theatre and Performance team are secure.
To support our course giving it the time and resources that it has been starved off.
To confirm that optional modules will always be available to students currently enrolled.
To ensure that this year’s graduating cohort is represented at graduation with a relevant guest speaker, with assurances that the University of Surrey is clearly written on their certificates.