My uni course get disbanded

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Vinchester, May 21, 2011.

  1. Vinchester

    Vinchester SS.org Regular

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    I'm not sure if it's appropriate to post personal stuff like this here. I am admittedly not around SS much so I'm sorry if I seem to just barge in and throw up all this shit, but I need to let it out :( Please hear me out.

    ....

    I am a Thai student, 24, who came to the UK last year to study. My plan is to graduate in 3 years, then go back to Thailand and work.

    My course, BA Interior Architecture at Cardiff School of Art & Design, is a small course (total 90 students) run by 4 veteran tutors with almost 100 years worth of combined teaching experience. Although it is the first of its kind in the UK, is famous and successful, the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff , which the art school belongs to, decided that it wants to downsize, and our small course is going to be phased out. This was singlehandedly decided by the upper management without ANY consultation with the affected party as is required by guidelines.

    After six longs months of fierce bureaucratic fights, complains, and incompetency on the part of the university, the Interior Architecture course I have been studying since September 2010 has now been gutted of its teaching staff.

    Shortly after the announcement, barrages of complaints came from all over the UK. Other course directors, parents, employers and architecture firms, and one from an ex-UN ambassador all wrote to protest the decision. Student protest was organized (I was there too) Yet all this fell on deaf ears. Citing statements like "The interior architecture course is redundant. It's not even a real Architecture course" and "The decision to cut student number has been formed at Regional level" , the Dean and her cronies went on to promise that our discontinued course will be ensured consistent teaching standard. A promise that will not be kept, as six month later, none of our current teachers appear on the next academic year employee roster.

    All we asked for was to keep at least some of the original tutors to see the last batch of students to their graduation. All four were denied continued employment.

    It was soon confirmed, through several eyewitnesses and leaked conversations that the Dean decided to mutilate our course precisely because she personally loathes our Course Leader, an honourable man who refused to compromise teaching standard.

    Today, the new Subject Leader confessed that the three replacement tutors (from another Architecture Design and Technology, not really the same field) assigned to teach the remaining students will be working only 18 hours a week, and all of them are working on their PhD, further limiting their level of commitment. This would mean each student would get roughly 1 hour of private tuition every 2 weeks - which is utterly inadequate for a design course.

    At this point I will skip out all the details of the fight. The teachers, student reps and the student union had tried their hardest to pressure the university to grant us at least some of the old staff. I'll not talk about possible legal actions, or any further retaliation, for the fight has already been lost and I am too hurt to continue studying here.

    My time here at Cardiff will end by 24 June. I have already announced to my peers that I'll be leaving, since I cannot bring myself to pay 9,200 pounds of tuition fee for this kind of treatment from the university. My course director is arranging a reference letter and pointing out some directions I should check out. Hopefully by September I will get to start my second year in the same degree, in another university.

    "Sorry it has come to this and you are left searching for a place again. I had hoped that this could get back to be a happy art school." was his last line in our conversation yesterday.

    I feel very grateful to be able to study with these teachers who work from 7 AM to 7 PM to ensure every student gets their share of tuition. They have helped me immensely in both academic and personal matters. Excellent education was about to be given to me by these great men. Moreover, I have settled down and come to love Cardiff and my many friends here. To have all these taken away from me, in such an unfair fashion, breaks my heart.

    I am close to tears.
     
  2. Jakke

    Jakke Pretty wisdomous

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    man, I'm sorry for you, it's so respectless to both students and tutors.

    Sadly, academia is full of this bullshit
     
  3. Edika

    Edika SS.org Regular

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    I don't know the educational legislation in the UK but one way to force the University to at least finish with your academic year would be for all the students to unite and ask for legal help. Try asking for a refund from the years you wasted on the University and the expenses you have wasted by following courses that are undermined and not seriously supported by the University anymore. If a lawyer thinks that you have a chance to win this, it maybe a way to pressure the University to finish your academic course with a serious tutoring staff or at least get a refund. Even if what you learned was helpful and you were pleased, if you don't get the diploma it doesn't count!
     
  4. Vinchester

    Vinchester SS.org Regular

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    Legal action has already been prepared and will be used to enforce an acceptable level of education quality (for the remaining students who chose not to leave) However, for me it's over because without the current staff it's basically not the same course anymore.

    Also, I'll quit before paying course fee for the next year, so no financial loss here apart from relocation.
     
  5. Dan

    Dan Senior Member

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    I feel your pain dude. I understand totally what you are going through as my bands drummer is going through the same thing and my friends on a course at my university have had to deal with the same situation. Unfortunately our government can't see the backlash of their choices and students across the country are being fucked over royally.

    I'm currently just finishing up my course in architectural glass and ceramics and over the 3 years i have been completing my degree teaching standards have depleated to the point where i harly ever see my tutor, and when i do he is far too busy with his own work to even care. My advice would be to find something in industry rather than higher education as no-one cares for degrees anymore, rather experience.

    If you need someone to talk to a little more in depth about this then drop me a PM dude as ill see if anyone in my area of expertise knows of jobs or positions available to you. If theres any way i can help i shall. :)
     
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  6. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear

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    That's awful...:noway: Very sorry to hear that.

    Yeah, that's what I was thinking whilst reading your post. I'm sure you'll have no problem finding a place that is willing to take you on with the skills you have learned in your first year there.

    Best of luck :)
     
  7. Rook

    Rook Electrifying

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    This is the unfortunate thing about a country with no money. I don't think degrees are necessarily meaningless, far from it in fact, but I think instea of funding specific courses, what little funding that's left from the state is being kept in the subjects for which you absolutely have to have a degree in order to do the work (Meds, Architecture, Engineering etc).

    Maybe try and get into a bigger uni and move into something like what I mentioned? Structural Engineering or something similar?

    I know it sucks, but this country's finances are in a bit of a state. I doubt it's because people are heartless and 'don't know what they're doing', but if there's no money, there's no money!

    Best of luck for the future, I'm sure you'll find something, and who knows it could be life-changing in a good way :)
     
  8. Lucas Crowe

    Lucas Crowe Lovely Boy

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    Maybe if you had picked a real architecture course this wouldn't have happened? ;)

    Seriously, that is pretty horrible. I don't feel that any education systems with governments involved are typically very good for people who want anything more than a certificate saying "Compliant Enough for Work!" and stories like this, although not surprising, disgust me greatly. I have an intense passion for academics, but the current system, from elementary school to university, is neither efficient or progressive. Private schools can be better, but that is, by no means, guaranteed.
     
  9. Rook

    Rook Electrifying

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    Every educational institution in this country gets government funding. They aren't state run or officiated or controlled in any way, the state helps us pay the fees (if you're from the EU, unfortunately the OP isn't) which are about £15k a year. We only have to pay £3k at the moment, it's possibly going up to £6-9k next year, but I'd still sooner pay that than 15.

    Universities can also apply for funding if they do research etc, unfortunately no research etc meaning little funding which in turn gives us the OP's situation.
     
  10. Vinchester

    Vinchester SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for your sympathy Ethereal, Fun111 and SOD. just my two cents on the topic;

    - I know full well that art and design courses will be the first to get cut and brutalised whenever the budget and funding gets ugly. However, Interior Design is a very serious subject to learn. Even certified architects cannot be expected to do every aspect (esp. interior) of a building right by themselves. Well my point is that Interior Design is a valuable trade in its own right and is far from "bullshit courses made to sell to hapless students" Also it's doable to eventually get an architect's license if one really wants to.

    - That said, I agree completely that if I had gone to an Architecture or Engineering degree, this kind of shit prolly wouldn't happen to me becos they are "hard" degrees highly valued by the management. But oh well, I chose to do Interior, and I'm willing to bear the risk.

    - Since I have ranted and bitched enough, I now feel more optimistic that I'll eventually get accepted into a decent course. Give me a few months and I'll tell you the good news ;)
     
  11. Vinchester

    Vinchester SS.org Regular

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    I can't believe you got it spot on. Our tutors refused to do research (because there are only 4 tutors and they want to devote time to students) so we weren't turning up profits and gave the university one more reason to shut us down.
     
  12. Lucas Crowe

    Lucas Crowe Lovely Boy

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    I don't think I'm completely familiar with the nature of funding where you guys are. In the U.S., there is a large difference between state and private schools. Private schools can still get funding from research and whatnot, but state schools have their programs funded just because they are directly affiliated with the state.
     
  13. heretic

    heretic Banned

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    Welcome to the recession.
     
  14. Rook

    Rook Electrifying

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    Yeah in this country there are state and private institutions up until university level, all universities are private, but get various levels of (both corporate and state) funding based on research.

    Here you have to go to school until you're 16. Then most people go to college until they're 18. It's not compulsory but common and there are state and private colleges. People don't leave home to go to college, it's just like school only extra, people only normally do college if they want to go to uni and get a degree. Universities here you apply to 5 and where you get in depends on your grades and a personal statement you have to write about yourself. My uni's supposedly one of the top in the world so I had to take a test and have an interview too.
     
  15. Scar Symmetry

    Scar Symmetry Ex Whiny Bitch

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    Man, that's so fucked up.

    Why I do I get the feeling that this kind of thing is only going to get worse?

    My condolences man, maybe try to see the opportunity in the difficulty, it may end up positively impacting on your life and I feel that it's probably more likely if you're actively looking for the positive.
     
  16. Jontain

    Jontain SS.org Regular

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    This.
     

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