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We love our university campus! say Labour councillors, students and members of the public (photo: Hastings and Rye Labour Party).

We love our university campus! say Labour councillors, students and members of the public (photo: Hastings and Rye Labour Party).

Labour adds its voice to campaign to save Hastings’ university campus from closure

Hastings and Rye Labour Party has added its weight to the campaign to save the University of Brighton’s Hastings’ campus. A review launched by the university into the future of the campus has raised fears that the campus may be closed. Nick Terdre reports.

With Valentine’s Day approaching on Sunday, Hastings Labour Party has produced a ‘Hastings Loves Its University’ postcard to enable local people to say why they feel the university should stay in the town. Postcards can be filled in at a party stall outside Costa Coffee this Saturday or online. The completed postcards and e-postcards will be delivered to the university’s vice chancellor, Professor Debra Humphris next month.

“We’ve been inundated with concerned students and parents telling us how they value the university being in our town and how they want it to stay,” said Labour’s local education spokesperson, Cllr Kim Forward. “We need to ensure this message gets to the very top. The best campaigns are ones we can all get behind regardless of our politics – let’s work together to save our campus.” Labour council leader, Peter Chowney told the Hastings Observer: “The university in Hastings is an essential part of the regeneration of the town…It would be a great pity if it closed.”

Local MP, Amber Rudd is also backing the campaign. “The future of Brighton’s Hastings campus should not even be being debated,” she is reported as saying. Students, the University and College Union and the Hastings and St Leonards Local Strategic Partnership have added their voices to the campaign.

There are currently 684 students studying at the Hastings campus, a university spokesman told HOT. “It was estimated at the time that the campus was established that it would need around 1,000 students to make it academically and financially viable,” he said. “The review aims to identify how best to continue to deliver higher education in Hastings on a sustainable basis.

“The University of Brighton has been committed to the social and economic regeneration of Hastings for over a decade – and continues to be so. This is not just through our higher education provision, but also through our sponsorship of nine academy schools in the town and outreach work in local schools and colleges which engaged over 3,000 local young people last year.”

The results of the review will be considered by the university’s board of governors at a meeting on 8 March. HOT has been unable to clarify whether closure of the campus is an option.

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This article was amended by Nick Terdre on 15 February 2016.

Posted 21:45 Friday, Feb 12, 2016 In: Campaigns

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