UNISON has written to Oxford’s Ruskin College principal, Paul Di Felice, calling for additional support for students left in limbo by a decision to close social work courses.
Students, many of whom are UNISON members, were informed this week that from September 2020 the college will no longer be running social work degree courses.
UNISON understands the move has come as result of Social Work England not re-accrediting Ruskin College to run social work courses.
This has left students booked onto courses or part-way through their education despondent and in limbo, says UNISON.
UNISON is concerned that students studying courses have been desperately trying to find other local institutions to finish their studies with little support from Ruskin so far.
UNISON South East regional secretary Steve Torrance said: “UNISON has been inundated with calls from students left in limbo, who have no idea how or where they will be able to finish their degrees.
“Support given by qualified social workers is invaluable to some of the most vulnerable in our society and students at Ruskin have been seriously let down by the institution.
“The college was founded on the principle of providing degrees for working-class adults and mature students, and had a rich history of working hand in hand with the trade union movement.
“Ruskin College must now do everything in its power to assist students to find places at other institutions and refund tuition fees to every student who requests it.”
Notes to editors:
– UNISON’s letter to Ruskin College principle Paul Di Felice can be read here.
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union, with more than 1.3 million members providing public services – in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.