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UCU to hold public meeting on fighting Warwickshire College Group closures

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The University and College Union (@UCU) will hold a public meeting next Tuesday (4 May) as part of its campaign to fight the closure of substantial parts of Evesham College and the shutting down and sale of the Malvern Hills campus by the Warwickshire College Group (WCG).  

WCG plans to close the Malvern campus completely by August, while cutting provision at Evesham College by two-thirds, and moving Supported Learning and Access to HE courses to another site 7 miles away. Students and staff currently based at Malvern Hills would be forced to travel over 20 miles. Early Years courses would be slashed completely.  

UCU has previously condemned WCG’s failure to properly consult with students, staff, or the local community, and argued that management has overseen a process of ‘managed decline’ since 2016.  

The union today said that Evesham and Malvern need more investment in local further education provision, not cuts and closures, and pointed out that many of the courses being targeted are essential for both adult education and access to higher education. UCU accused WCG management of reducing opportunities for people in the area and contributing to worsening inequalities, and urged people to attend the upcoming public meeting. 

UCU regional support official Teresa Corr said:

‘Evesham and Malvern need more investment in local further education provision, not cuts and closures. Many of the courses that are being relocated or cut are essential for teenagers seeking to access higher education, and for adults needing to retrain and upskill as we recover from the pandemic. Warwickshire College Group’s management absurdly claim they are ‘investing’ in their Worcestershire campuses, but in reality, they are reducing opportunities for people in the area and compounding existing inequalities. 

‘UCU is campaigning hard to fight these plans, pushing for college management to properly consult the staff, students and local community who would suffer were they to be pushed through. The college needs to be transparent about its decision-making process. We urge staff, students, parents and people from across the community to join our virtual public meeting next week, and help defend local further education.’ 

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