Updated: Hastings campus ‘to close in two years’

University of Brighton, Havelock Road, Hastings. SUS-160127-111943001
University of Brighton, Havelock Road, Hastings. SUS-160127-111943001
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University of Brighton students at an assembly today say they were told the Hastings campus will ‘close within two years’.

Student Fiona Mcgeever, who was at the Student Union meeting at the Priory Square building, said they were told the campus would be closing in two years.

“It will invest in Sussex Coast College and move courses back to Brighton, some will be held in conjunction with Sussex Coast College,” she said.

She added students at the assembly, attended by staff, students and union reps, were told MP Amber Rudd is taking the Hastings review to parliament.

Speaking about information released today, she said students received a press release that was ‘very unclear’.

“Most staff members did not receive it which caused serious anger in the room as to the uncertainty they face,” she said.

Students were told the Hastings campus would be ‘fazed out’ and, although no exact dates had been given, it was expected to be within the next two years.

“It has created a wave of hysteria as students don’t know when they will be moved or where they will be moved to and this applies to the staff also,” said Fiona.

“This lack of clarity begs many questions, where will they house students if they move them?

“Brighton and Eastbourne are already struggling to cater for their student population.

“What will they do with the equipment and the campus buildings that they have invested £14m into in Hasting?

“The excuse is that Hastings is not financially viable and the projected studies show that there will not be a strong enough student demographic in the future to keep the campus open.

“It has been called ‘control divestment’ – where they will build a partnership with Sussex Coast College for certain courses so as not to lose the legacy of the work that has been done by the university but it will be run by Sussex Coast College.”

She added many staff and students at the meeting were visibly upset, accusing the university of not trying hard enough to save the campus.

Student Union president Hayley Wood said: “It is important that the university knows they cant just walk all over students and staff and pull away their livelihoods, we will continue to fight for the well being of students – no matter what the challenge.”

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