Faculty of Arts Offices
3/5 Woodland Road
To students in Lifelong Learning in the Faculty of Arts
As many of you know, the government last year announced that it was withdrawing funding for students who already had an “Equivalent Level Qualification” (ELQ). This means that, to take the commonest example, any student already holding a B.A. would receive no government funding for enrolling in any programme at Certificate, Diploma, or Degree level (but would receive funding if enrolled in a taught M.A., being a higher level). The Funding Council is clawing back £100M from universities’ budgets. In the Faculty of Arts at Bristol, the loss amounts to approximately £500K. Furthermore, there has been a ruling that our “level 0”, pre-degree units are no longer eligible for government funding, resulting in another cut of approximately £200K. The new funding rules mean that, on top of these reductions, much of our activity in LL now operates at a substantial loss.
After a year of considering options of all kinds that might recover some of the lost ground, the Faculty has with deep regret reached the conclusion that it must discontinue some of its LL activity. We will continue to offer our part-time degrees in Archaeology and English, together with associated short courses that act as tasters and recruiting tools for these programmes. The extensive offerings in the Language Centre will continue, though some reduction in scale may prove necessary. The remaining LL in the Faculty will continue only until the end of this session, summer 2009. Transitional arrangements will apply in some cases (such as a two-year course with one year left to run: we will run the second year). Students are advised to get in touch with their tutors or coordinators with queries on this point.
The Faculty will be reviewing all aspects of its public engagement, to which we are strongly committed. We have set up a committee to identify ways of making our many existing activities better known and accessible, and to suggest new and affordable forms of engagement. Once these new plans are in place we will establish a website to provide a single point of entry for friends from outside the University, with plenty of information and contact details. In the meantime, I invite you to visit the website of the Bristol Institute for Research in the Humanities and Arts to look for events of interest, and contact the organisers; you will be very welcome to attend.
I am sorry to bring this disappointing news, but trust that you will understand the unfortunate situation in which we find ourselves.
Prof. Robert Fowler
Dean of Arts