Education centre set to close

HORSHAM students are among those set to lose out when the Centre for Community Engagement is closed by the University of Sussex at the end of the academic year.

The proposal to close the educational facility was put forward in December prior to the start of the Christmas holidays. Since this announcement more than 1,500 people have banded together against the proposed cut and signed an online petition to save the education resource.

The University of Sussex vice-chancellor, Michael Farthing, said: “We regret that this proposal would end evening classes and day schools which have been enjoyed by local people over the years. However, given the government’s policies regarding the funding of higher education, the University can no longer support such courses. There is no public funding for non-degree courses such as these that don’t lead to qualifications, and no evidence that fees can be set at a high enough level to cover their costs,” added Professor Farthing.

Under the current proposal those courses which have made a loss will come to an end in July this year.

Courses such as the teaching of sign language and Deaf Studies will continue in some form, but others such as the popular archaeology course will end for good. Should the decision be made to close the CCE, it would see 12 academic staff members, three professional service staff and 127 associate tutors jobs put risk.

To sign a petition go to http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/community-engagement-at-sussex/