Letter: Choosing profit over education

I AM writing to you with regards to the recent proposed cuts to the Centre for Community Engagement (CCE) at the University of Sussex.

These cuts mean that the majority of adult education courses and departments will be closed, offering no community engagement for adults whatsoever.

The reason for axing adult education can be understood to a certain point – government cuts have obviously impacted hard on higher education and have been a worrying trend over the past few years and while it can be said that the whole of the CCE department has made a financial loss last year, the university, as a whole has made a substantial profit.

However, these funds are apparently not transferable and cannot be used to bail out a highly valuable resource for the community. It is very sad that ‘Education, Education, Education’ has been morphed into profit, profit, profit and is completely missing the whole purpose of education. What the Labour Party started has quite literally been finished off by the new coalition government.

But the proposals are not written in stone at the moment and anyone wanting to protest about the axing of adult education at Sussex is encouraged to fill in the petition at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/community-engagement-at-sussex/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=system&utm_campaign=Send%2Bto%2BFriend

Continuing education and community engagement have a long and illustrious history at Sussex.

Recently, CCE has produced novelists, both amateur and professional archaeologists, supported training and volunteering in the community, engaged with efforts to promote sign language in support of deaf communities, and engaged with teachers and young people through Creative Partnerships schemes. It has also provided full-time and visiting students with access to disciplines such as archaeology, which are not otherwise covered by main stream departments.

Lisa Jayne Fisher, associate tutor, University of Sussex, Lewes