Sheffield students fight cuts to courses

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Students at Sheffield University have launched a campaign against planned cuts to adult education courses.

Undergraduates on courses at the Department for Lifelong Learning are against moves to scrap classes held during the evening.

They argue the plans will have a significant impact on Sheffield people wishing to pursue higher education outside their normal working hours.

Plans for the closure of several evening degree courses from September 2015, and their replacement with foundation years for daytime courses, were unveiled in March.

Courses affected include archaeology, languages, international political studies and creative writing.

Students fear that the changes will mean specialist staff will be lost, pressure will be put on students to finish their courses more quickly, and that degree course options will be more limited.

A petition has already gathered more than 250 signatures and campaigners have raised the issue with their local MPs Nick Clegg, Clive Betts and Paul Blomfield.

Student Union president Ally Buckle said: “The University of Sheffield has long prided itself on widening participation for the working people of Sheffield by offering evening courses, but the new department looks likely to take away the option.”

The university argues it is expanding part-time undergraduate programmes and is developing access to a range of full time and part-time degrees through new foundation year opportunities.