More than half of the University of Lincoln’s social work degree places could be cut by a cost-saving plan to close its Hull campus.
The university plans to close the Hull School of Health and Social Care by 2013 in response to massive cuts in government funding for higher education. This campus currently has an intake of around 70 students each year on the undergraduate social work degree course, and the existing group of 230 students currently taking the course at Hull will be the last to graduate from the school.
The university will continue to provide the course from its Lincoln campus, which currently has an intake of around 50 students each year, and this could be extended to 70 as part of the plans.
Postgraduate and the employment-based part-time social work programmes will still be available in the Hull area, but not at the university.
The university’s head of health and social care, Professor Malcolm Golightley, said the decision to close the Hull campus was “mostly about finances”.
“But it’s also about us trying to concentrate our provision on one campus,” he said, adding that running the undergraduate degree under one roof would allow more opportunities for staff to do research.
The university is hoping to avoid making compulsory redundancies and many of the 50 members of staff will be offered the opportunity to transfer to the Lincoln campus.
Sue White, chair of the Association of Professors of Social Work, warned in October that social work degree places could be threatened by the £500m funding cuts for universities already in place for 2010-11.
Earlier this year the Higher Education Funding Council for England announced that £7.4bn would be allocated to higher education institutions in 2010-11, 7% less than the total for 2009-10.
The University of Reading announced in March 2009 it will be closing its social work department by September 2011, despite angry protests from hundreds of students, lecturers and practitioners.
Golightley said he was not aware of any planned protests against the closure of the University of Lincoln’s Hull campus.
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