End of the road for students

PUBLISHED: 08:30 08 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:58 22 October 2010

Hundreds of college students could be left in the lurch after their courses were cancelled because they did not “come up to scratch”.

Hundreds of college students could be left in the lurch after their courses were cancelled because they did not “come up to scratch”.

City College Norwich announced yesterday that from September it would no longer be offering places to new students on courses in furniture-making and some courses in the motor vehicle engineering department.

Although the 250 students currently on the courses will be able to complete their studies, they will be unable to progress to higher levels rendering some of their qualifications useless.

The move will also place about 20 lecturer jobs at risk, although no decision on job losses has been made.

Carl Mills, 18, of Robin Hood Road, Norwich, has spent two years on the City and Guilds motor vehicle engineering course.

He has achieved a level two qualification but will not be able to study for his level three - the vital qualification needed to begin work in the industry.

His mother Lisa Mills said: “He has studied hard to get as far as he has but now all that work could go to waste.

“Nobody will employ him without the full qualification and there is nowhere else locally that he can study.

“At the very least they should allow people in his situation to progress all the way through to the top qualification before cancelling the courses.”

College principal Dick Palmer said the decision was part of an annual review of course performance under the “normal quality assurance cycle”.

He added: “Regrettably in the very small number of cases where courses repeatedly do not come up to scratch we make the difficult decisions about possible closures, as is the case in these two areas.

“Although this action represents reducing only a very small proportion of the number of places compared to the continuing offer of the college as a whole, we do not underestimate the impact it has upon the individuals concerned who wish to study here.

“We want to be clear that this is neither a cost cutting exercise nor an issue of changes in government policy, but part of our normal procedures for ensuring that we provide the best opportunities we can for students to succeed at City College.”

College spokesman Richard Sturman said that a consultation had been launched to decide how many of the 20 lecturing posts involved would be cut. About half of these are full-time positions.

The college will advise applicants and students affected of the options available to them with alternatives in the region.

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