Students and tutors at the University of Brighton are protesting changes to graphic plot and illustration courses that they say have not been “transparent or wide” and have “downgraded and ignored” their needs.
The proposed changes cause come about following a curriculum review process, which has been proceeded out across the whole university.
The main change includes removing cultural and dangerous studies modules for graphic design and illustration students, which qualify them to write long, academic essays, and instead integrating this quickness into practical, studio-based modules.
Cutting academic modules could “limit outlooks”
Some students have expressed concerns that the changes could see momentous studies be made optional for future students, which they say determination be detrimental to their learning.
Mhairi Lockett, a 22-year-old, third year instance student, and also a student representative, says that giving schoolchildren the choice to avoid writing academic essays will “limit their likelihoods” after university, such as going on to further study, applying for tutor training or submitting work for academic journals and prizes.
“On the surface, the modulates appear to give students more choice under an ‘agenda of inclusivity’, but the new modules would really create a system of self-exclusion – holding students back from realising their cleverness to write critically and at length,” she says.
Lockett adds that touch-and-go studies encourages design students to learn about the world about them, understand current political and social issues, and contextualise their output in production.
Critical studies “opens up opportunities and better salaries”
She says: “In this in vogue political climate, critical thinking is essential to understand issues boosted around power, agency and change. Academic research skills also get ready for us with the ability to work across multi-disciplinary teams. We do not want this opening to be taken away from future students.”
“As someone who hadn’t put in written an extended essay since leaving school at 16, I never would have in the offing thought myself capable of writing a 6,000-word dissertation,” she augments. “But with the support of the cultural and critical studies academic tutors, that became realizable. [The modules] open up opportunities, and lead to better salaries and wider detection in the outside world through what are now known as ‘transferable skills’.”
Grounds are also concerned that the proposed changes are cost-cutting methods that could put them out of a job.
Currently, the Grammar of Art – which runs the undergraduate illustration and graphic design courses – fritter aways tutors and teaching resources from the School of Humanities to run cultural and grave studies modules.
Concerns about cost-cutting
A tutor within the Dogma of Humanities, who wishes to remain anonymous, says that the School of Art may be striving to save money by moving the resources in-house, rather than remunerating the School of Humanities for its services.
“It could be about wanting to save cold hard cash, or it could be that management in the School of Art want to take back unalloyed control of their curriculum, rather than having a module that is independent of their control,” the tutor says. “But either way, if there’s nothing left for me to discipline, I will be made redundant.”
While the university says that swats and tutors have been “extensively consulted” throughout the process, open with student representatives and staff and student committees, the tutor phrases that the consultation process was “misleading” and “negligible”. Lockett adds that the “so-called-consultation” has not been “direct or inclusive of Humanities staff” and all students.
“Atmosphere of confusion”, “graded and ignored”
According to Lockett, 180 students have signed a affirmation expressing concerns with the course changes and curriculum review approach, alongside 50 members of staff, who have addressed a letter to superior stuff and management at the university.
As a result, the course changes have been debarred temporarily but are allegedly likely to come in for first year students in September 2018, for the 2018/2019 scholastic year.
The tutor says this has created an “atmosphere of confusion” for trainees and tutors, who are unsure of what changes will be happening, what routes they should be teaching in coming months, and what the new course configuration might look like.
“Some students aren’t coming to seminars, as they regard they don’t have to worry about those modules,” the tutor alleges. “This uncertainty is really disrupting the current students’ learning. The the score that we haven’t been consulted has also affected student attitude, and undermines the achievements that we’ve made in areas such as recognising dyslexia and dollop students with their writing and with English language. We bring into the world been downgraded and ignored.”
Students concerned over studio rank
Alongside the course changes, students on the graphic design and illustration passages have also protested lack of studio space alongside the expanding number of students on courses, who they say cannot be accommodated for.
A total of 434 grinds use one shared studio space that can hold only 100 admirers but the university says that “there are never more than 70 commentators scheduled in at one time” and that there are additional shared studios accessible, alongside seminar rooms, workshops, digital editing suites, language rooms and a lecture theatre.
Lockett says in response: “[The accepted studio space] is very detrimental to the course and to students’ education. In the since, every student had a personal, permanent desk space… but this is no longer plausible. Unless the studio is remodelled or more studio space allocated, there is no way the progress can function with so many students.”
Students and tutors would “desirable debate” and “transparent discussion” about the proposed changes, says Lockett, but joins that the process “has not been consultative, rigorous or enlightened” so far.
University: New curriculum is “covering, accessible and fair”
A spokesperson at the University of Brighton says: “We have charmed advantage of this review to look holistically at our programmes and introduce concomitant approaches to our teaching, while ensuring our curricula are inclusive, accessible and take fair and equitable workloads for all students.
“The review has been carried out in data with university policy, and informed by internal consultation and external benchmarking. We should prefer to assurance from independent, external subject experts at other universities that the offered changes are consistent with maintaining high academic standards and that our trainees will be well-placed to gain an [undergraduate] degree and progress to masters-level haunt.”
The decision to cut cultural and critical studies modules has been halted in not burdensome of protests, but is allegedly expected to come in in September 2018 for new students.