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Shadow education secretary pulls out of university event over course cuts

SHADOW education secretary Kate Green has pulled out of an event organised by two universities that are planning to close courses and cut jobs.

The Labour MP for Stretford and Urmston had been due to speak at an online forum on Monday hosted by Aston and London South Bank universities, but her office today confirmed to the Morning Star that she had withdrawn over her concerns.

The University and College Union (UCU) welcomed Ms Green’s decision, describing it as a boost to its members’ fight against cuts to jobs and courses.

Aston University is planning to close its department of history, languages and translation, putting 24 jobs at risk and cutting 10 courses — a UCU petition against the move has already attracted more than 6,000 signatures.

UCU members at London South Bank University are calling for a reversal of its plan to close seven courses in its law and social sciences school and conduct a further “portfolio review” of its 2022 curriculum.

They will also be seeking the university’s commitment not to impose compulsory redundancies.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady welcomed Ms Green’s decision to withdraw from the event as a “show of support for staff and students,” urging others to follow her example and take a stand against universities threatening such cuts.

Ms Grady said: “We must not allow universities to throw their students, staff and local communities under the bus by ending valuable education provision.

“Course closure would be a reckless act of academic vandalism, not only threatening the jobs and impacting students who currently study within the departments but also putting the excellent work that staff have done to widen participation at risk.”

Both universities have been contacted for comment.

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