STUDENTS took to the streets this morning to protest against the University of Cumbria’s plans to end undergraduate teaching at their Ambleside campus.
Bosses at the debt-ridden university are looking to save £2million per year by withdrawing courses and selling buildings at the former Charlotte Mason College site.
After quizzing University of Cumbria Vice-chancellor Peter McCaffery about the decision, students who now face the prospect of transferring their education to other campuses in Lancaster, Carlisle and Penrith joined MP Tim Farron to protest.
Student Union president Emma Green said the University should be able to make the savings elsewhere.
She said: “The students are angered by the decision.
"The university is saying that they need to make financial savings, but we think there are other ways of saving that money.
"The Government should be assisting the university and helping them find ways of saving money.”
MP Tim Farron said selling off the Ambleside site would not raise the money the university was hoping for because the land would be subject to strict planning laws that would limit its value.
“The National Park Authority will clearly not allow anything lucrative to happen to the campus. The best the University can hope for is to sell the land for affordable housing, but that wont raise much money.
"The value in re-selling the site is a nonsense.”
He added: “They should at least allow the students already studying here to finish their degrees. The first and second year students have got contracts that must be fulfilled.”
Vice Chancellor Peter McCaffrey said there had been a ‘material failure’ at the University.
“It’s like when you have maxed out your credit card and the bailiffs are knocking at the door. That’s the situation the university is in,” he said.
Two hundred of the university’s 1400 staff will be laid off, a quarter being from the Ambleside campus, added Mr McCaffrey.