Open letter to Christian ministers of Hastings and St Leonards-on-Sea.
Thank you for your open letter expressing your concerns over our review of our higher education provision in Hastings.
Firstly can I say how much I appreciate the work that the local churches have done in providing pastoral and spiritual support to both our students and staff in Hastings over the past few years.
I would also like to take this opportunity to address some of the misleading impressions that have been created by coverage of our decision on the future of our Hastings Campus.
The University of Brighton remains deeply committed to the social and economic regeneration of Hastings.
This can be seen in our continuing support for the provision of higher education in the town, our sponsorship of nine academy schools and our widening participation work that reached over 3,000 young people in the local area last year.
Whilst our current Hastings Campus is not sustainable either academically or financially we are not, as some have suggested, simply closing the campus and walking away.
Our decision to evolve the campus into a new University Centre was taken precisely because it offers the best way to continue to provide the people of Hastings with access to educational opportunities that can help to transform their lives and continue to transform the town.
Over the coming year we will be working with our partners at Sussex Coast College Hastings, Hastings Borough Council and other local stakeholders to develop a University Centre that works for the town and surrounding area.
There are many examples of thriving and successful University Centres all over the country and we will look to learn from their experience.
Meanwhile all of our current students, including those applying for the new academic year, will be able to complete their courses at our Hastings Campus over the next three to four years.
As a university we are proud of the contribution we have made to the regeneration of Hastings for over a decade.
We look forward to continuing to do so.
Professor Debra Humphris
University of Brighton
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