Open forum meeting organised to discuss future of Aberystywth University

AN OPEN MEETING to discuss the Future of Aberystwyth University is due to take place in the Students’ Union at 11:30am on Wednesday 20th November.

It has been arranged by a group called Defend Education (previously known as Aber Students Against Cuts/Aber Radical Forum) who ‘hope to put forward a positive vision of what Aberystwyth University should look like, and what it means for education to be a public good in the 21st Century’.

The group is a non-University affiliated collaboration of students, lecturers, and members of the community ‘who have banded together to stand up to cuts, fees, and other issues of significance to students, to Aberystwyth, and the country at large’, and have called for an open discussion on the following issues:

Photo - Tomos Nolan

Photo – Tomos Nolan

-£9k student fees.
-Below inflation pay rises for staff.
-The ‘casualisation’ of employment in H.E.
-The proposed closure of Pantycelyn Halls.
-Cuts to the Arts Centre and service departments.
-Increasingly distant and arbitrary management decisions.
-New University rules and regulations that potentially threaten the right to assembly and protest.

The organisers of the event have expressed that these issues are cause for concern on the direction of which the University is heading into, stating the following:

“At the moment, there are a number of grievances across campus, from the campaign about transparency and clarity in management decisions taken about the Arts Centre, to UMCA’s campaign to stop the closure of the Pantycelyn halls. The meeting next Wednesday is aimed to facilitate dialogue between these groups, as well as other concerned students and staff, in order that we can best co-ordinate how to interact with University management.”

“We encourage everyone who has an interest in the future of the University, and would like to work together to ensure we have a University that listens to staff, students, and the local community, to attend the meeting”.

The group wishes to establish forms of co-operation and solidarity between staff and students, departments, and other institutions -both academic and non, emphasizing that ‘we are stronger together than we are alone’.

Academic and support staff, Arts Centre management, and the main campus unions including UCU, Unison, the Students Union, and UMCA have all been invited to take part in the meeting, however all concerned students and staff are being encouraged to attend.