University of Brighton denies betraying Hastings

University of Brighton, Priory Square, Hastings. SUS-160127-130344001
University of Brighton, Priory Square, Hastings. SUS-160127-130344001

The University of Brighton has sent out a list of questions and answers in response to serious concerns about the future of the Hastings campus.

The list covers some of the issues raised by staff, students, political figures and the Observer in the past day.

It also says it has discharged its duty when it comes to £12m of public funds and is not ‘betraying’ Hastings.

Q: Is it true that the Hastings Campus is going to close?

A: The current campus model is not sustainable. It will be phased out in favour of a new model that will continue to deliver higher and further education in Hastings in collaboration with Sussex Coast College Hastings with the longer term objective of establishing a University of Hastings.

Q: How quickly will this happen?

A: We think that the transition to the new model will take around two years.

Q: What will the new model look like?

A: There is still a lot of detail to be worked through. But it will be smaller and more focused than the current model to ensure that it is sustainable for the long term. Higher education courses will be developed and delivered in partnership with Sussex Coast College Hastings.

Q: What does this mean for students currently studying at the campus?

A: All current students will be supported to successfully complete their studies – no matter how long this takes. The majority of them will complete their courses in Hastings. Changes will only be made in consultation with the students affected.

Q: Will some courses be moved away from Hastings?

A: Yes. But we think that the majority of current courses will stay in Hastings. No courses will be moved without consultation with our staff and students.

Q: What will happen to the campus buildings?

A: This will depend on the final shape of the new model. The university owns the buildings and has no current plans to sell them. We will be talking to local partners about the future of our buildings in due course.

Q: Is it true that the University was given £12m of public funds to set up and run the campus?

A: This money was used to fund the initial set up when we were one of five universities involved. We have discharged our responsibilities in regard to this funding. The university bought all of its current buildings with its own money. We also paid for the fit-out of the buildings and for all of their running costs.

Q: What other options did the review consider?

A: The review looked at a range of options from continuing with the current campus model to complete closure. Having looked at the evidence we concluded that an evolution of the model offered the best and most sustainable way of continuing to provide higher education in the town.

Q: Does the outcome of the review represent a ‘betrayal’ of Hastings?

A: No. The University of Brighton has been a committed partner in the social and economic regeneration of Hastings for over a decade and continues to be so. Our support goes beyond our higher education provision to our sponsorship of nine academy schools in the town and our widening participation work that reached over 3,000 young people in the town last year. This will all continue.

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