Letters: University of Wolverhampton is vital to the West Midlands

The University of Wolverhampton has announced big cuts as it looks to slash its budget.

That is not good news for the university or for the city and towns where it operates.

Most of all it is terrible news for students hoping to study on courses that have now been suspended and who now face an uncertain future. And there are also an unknown number of staff either taking voluntary redundancy or facing the prospect of being forced out.

The reason behind this crisis must be investigated, but that is for another time. Now all efforts must be to protect those who are impacted most.

The university has been reticent in revealing the 138 courses affected, or in clarifying if the impact will be even wider.

A meeting was held yesterday with students, part of a consultation process.

What is clear is that this is no minor blip. It is understood undergraduate and postgraduate courses from “across the university portfolio” are affected.

Campuses within Wolverhampton, Walsall and Telford will all be impacted. Most courses affected appear to come from the arts, subjects that are increasingly becoming casualties as universities across the country look to concentrate more on areas including health, science and engineering.

The university has always been a proud advocate of education for all. Many of its students come from this region and many are the first in their family to take on a degree.

We hope that it can continue to serve – that this financial crisis can be dealt with and that it can continue its excellent work.

In short, the West Midlands cannot do without the University of Wolverhampton.

If we could time travel back several decades we might have imagined ourselves in a new version of the Roaring 20s. This was supposed to be a decade in which there’d be more leisure time, a better quality of life and an improved work-life balance. How wrong we would have been.

We are in a time of spiralling prices and tough consumer choices. The Royal Mail is the latest organisation to hike prices. Letters that used to cost a few pennies to post now cost almost a pound. The advances in the name of progress seem to do little to help the consumer. Services tend not to improve or become more efficient, higher prices tend not to lead to better value.

We are in for a bumpy ride in the coming years and it’s going to be harder and harder to maintain our standard of living against a backdrop of high inflation and hard choices for everyone.

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