To UWL students

From: Jane Norris-Hill
Sent: Wed 27/08/2008 10:55
Cc: Gwyndaf Tobias; Simon Horrocks; Union President - Jimmy Page
Subject: A Message from the Acting Vice-Chancellor and Head of School

Please find below a letter to all students from Gwydaf Tobias (Acting Vice-Chancellor) and Simon Horrocks (Head of School)

Dear Lampeter Student

Some of you might have read in the press or heard rumours about the University recently. Much of what has been reported is either untrue or extremely exaggerated and we would like to clarify the position for the benefit of all our students.

In late July, the University received a report from the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW), the University's funding body, on the future strategic direction of the University. Contrary to some of the rumours circulating, the report recognises the valuable academic outputs at Lampeter and states that a compelling case for closing the University does not exist.

However, it is likely that some internal management structures within the University will need be reviewed over the next year. The University will also be working closely with HEFCW, who are being extremely supportive, to also review the University's future strategy and development. Fortunately, the University is coming from a position of financial strength to assist its future development, with HEFCW placing us in category A for financial performance, the highest band possible.

As students, you will want to know whether any of this impacts on your studies. The issues noted above will not impact upon your degrees when term starts in October and it will be business as usual. There have been some minor staff changes over the summer but we would like to reassure you that these should not overly affect classes or dissertation supervision as the majority of changes have been within management roles.

There are also some improvements to the campus planned over the next few weeks, in particular changes in the location of departments. The Department of Classics will now be located in the Canterbury Building and the Department of Philosophy in the Arts Building. Other departments will remain in the same location although individuals might move office within the same building. These changes aim to improve ho w departments interact with one another and consolidate teaching on the main campus. Part of these planned changes include creating social space for staff and students to network and the University Council have approved significant capital monies to develop the current refectory and coffee lounge area. Further improvements are planned for the library along with the refurbishment of some halls of residences.

We would like to stress that students are an integral part of the University and that your support is critical as the University develops its future strategy. If you have any concerns or comments, you can email these to We will provide regular up-dates on developments throughout the term and comments made to the above address will be an important tool in informing future up-dates. One priority for the coming year is to strengthen the link between the Students' Union and the University and to improve communication between us all. For example, we are currently working with the Students' Union to establish a Student Council and then a Student Charter.

The Vice-Chancellor is, unfortunately, currently absent due to sickness and in the meantime the developments outlined above will be progressed by the Acting Vice-Chancellor.

Finally, we know that Lampeter offers a unique experience and the University is committed to enhancing this. External recognition of these qualities is to be found on the MSN20website which recently included Lampeter in their top ten of the best university towns and cities.

I hope that you found this update useful.

With best wishes

Gwyndaf Tobias (Acting Vice-Chancellor) Simon Horrocks (Head of School)

Dr Jane Norris-Hill