Alongside reports that the government could be planning to cut the 2012-13 social work education grant by 18%, it emerged in December that the University of Southampton has launched a consultation on plans to close its remaining social work programmes. The wider context of this is the drive to turn higher education into a full market through massive cuts in state funding and increased tuition fees. In response higher education institutions are likely to withdraw from more expensive programmes to run such as social work and concentrate on cheaper but more profitable courses regardless of the social value and contribution of courses like social work.
A blog has been set up with information about the proposed closure: http://swsresponse.wordpress.com/2012/01/03/closure-proposal/. SWAN urges our supporters to send their messages of opposition to the University of Southampton’s Vice-Chancellor – the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
A report from The Guardian newspaper is also available here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/healthcare-network/2012/jan/06/southampton-university-social-work-studies
SWAN will share further information as it becomes available.