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Press statement - Recommendation of closure of School of Health and Social Care – University of Reading

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Press statement - Recommendation of closure of School of Health and Social Care

Release Date 09 February 2009

Following an extensive period of review, the University of Reading's Senior Management Board is recommending that the School of Health and Social Care be closed with effect from 30 September 2011.

We unhesitatingly recognise the excellent teaching throughout the School. However, the quality of teaching is not the question. The problem is, rather, that we are simply not funded for all that we do. The University Council will not allow the University to plan for sustained budgetary deficits, and therefore we are faced with difficult decisions, and are forced to make hard judgements based on our priorities.

Faced with the need to address our financial forecasts, we need to refocus our activities and ensure we are in a position to support those centres of excellence which have built successful global, collaborative research and other activities around their teaching. In short, adhere to our Corporate Plan -commiting maximum resources to support areas of established academic strength, of emerging excellence and of comparative advantage.

Following a comprehensive review of the School of Health and Social Care, the Corporate Plan has guided the Senior Management Board in their recommendation. The review concluded that the strategic importance of the School to the University is limited and this is not predicted to change in the future. Particular factors affecting the School include its lack of access, now or in the future, to Strategic Health Authority contracts, the lack of a critical mass of expertise in Social Work to achieve excellent research and the small scale of the School and its programmes, particularly nursing and counselling.

The University takes its responsibility to staff and students very seriously and their interests will be our priority during this period. The recommendation will be discussed by the University of Reading Senate and the University Council in March where the final decision will be taken.

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