Cardiff University and Lifelong Learning

It seems that a row has broken out in Cardiff University over its Centre for Lifelong Learning.

According to a report in the BBC, there are plans to cut all teaching in arts and humanities at the Cardiff University Centre For Lifelong Learning with alleged implications for jobs at a time when there is a growing demand for adult education during a recession.

Should it be surprising that Cardiff University is abandoning its role in lifelong learning in Wales?

Not according to last week’s Times Higher, which leaked a memo from a meeting between David Grant, vice-chancellor of Cardiff, and the heads of school.

This memo stated that staff recruitment would be driven by the demands of the research excellence framework in the future, "not teaching" and that the "V-C left us with this message: a) we may be over-teaching in some areas; b) we may be teaching in areas that we shouldn't be".

The University states that it is consulting on this issue, but I hope that it does not take this step without a real consideration of the impact it will have on its local community.

Indeed, I gave evidence in February 2008 to the Enterprise and Learning Committee (and alongside the Vice Chancellor) where Dr Grant was eloquent and enthusiastic on the matter of Cardiff’s contribution to Wales.

Given his comments then, I hope that his university will reconsider this decision.

If not, then I have heard rumours that another academic institution may well step into the breach which would be highly embarrassing for Wales’ top university and its role in supporting Welsh society.

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