Save Glasgow University at Crichton Campus

Crichton Campus


archive of news items from general media



Saturday October 6th saw Edinburgh's Stand Comedy Club regulars Stuart Murphy and Garry Dobson topping the bill of a fantastic set of comedians brilliantly compered by Billy Kirkwood at the Fifth Window, Tam O' Shanter in Dumfries. There was also a talk and brilliant sketch which satirised the University authorities', SFC's and Scottish Parliaments' handling of the Crichton crisis. The sellout crowd had a fanatstic time. Thanks go to CUCSA, Save Galsgow at Crichton campaigners, Niall Brown and Stuart of Taking the Nith Productions for putting on the event.

Complete Text of Parliamentary Debate
Thursday, September 6th, 2007
Click Here

V I C T O R Y?
Glasgow is to reopen undergraduate admissions next year. Thanks to the Scottish Executive and Education Minister Fiona Hyslop, the campaign has been successful in retaining a full set of curricular choices, although it might be that some of it is outsourced to other suppliers. Information on whether there'll still be staff redundancies, is at this point unclear. But thanks to the campaign the situation for the students is considerably brighter than 6 months ago. So well done to all concerned. More details on the BBC, Dumfries and Galloway Standard, The Guardian and the Holyrood Reporter.

29th August
Education Minister visits Crichton Campus and receives plaudits for her action in helping to save education provision for teh region. More here

Given the uncertainty concerning the position of Community Learning, Social Work, IT and Library Staff it is vital that the campaign continues. A motion in this regard was passed by UCU Crichton staff. Glasgow UCU has restated its opposition to any compulsory redundancies. The IWW has also pledged to support all staff and students engaged in this struggle. We will have more information soon - watch this space.

Glasgow to reopen undergraduate admissions next year. Thanks to the Scottish Executive and Education Minister Fiona Hyslop, the campaign has been successful in retaining a full set of curricular choices, although it might be that some of it is outsourced to other suppliers. Information on whether there'll still be staff redundancies, is at this point unclear. But thanks to the campaign the situation for the students is considerably brighter than 6 months ago. So well done to all concerned. A fuller report when information is confirmed. Who knows may be we'll have reasons to celebrate. More details on the BBC and the here.

Tuesday July 17th
Supporters leafleted 'Local Neo-liberalism' event run by the CPPR unit at Glasgow University.

Congratulation to the students who completed their 100 mile march from the threatened Dumfries Campus to the main Campus in Glasgow. They were met by a group of supporters which included Alistair Morgan MSP, journalists from The Herald and BBC, members of AMICUS, UCU and IWW unions. The Principal of Glasgow University, Sir Muir Russell, came out of his office to meet them.

Further details about the march are available by clicking here.

Bad News in Terrible Report: 3 July 2007
The Dumfries and Galloway Standard states that a report that was hoped to be used to save GU provision at the Crichton instead merely repeats the original SFC commissioned conclusion that the peasants of Dumfries and Galloway should not have access to arts and humanities HE courses, relying instead on Open University provision. Whilst Open University courses are of excellent quality (many of GU's HE staff have worked for the OU in the past) it is not suitable for many types of student not equipped to learn by distance learning. It is highly discriminatory that it is only the people of South of Scotland that should have no access to institutional-based HE learning in these disciplines. NO one would suggest that St. Andrews, Edinburgh or the Highlands should have its HE provision in Literature, History and Philosophy removed so the OU can take over. It would also remove a route of entry for students to specialise at Honours level at Glasgow University in these disciplines. Something the report completely fails to mention.

The last report was pilloried as it was written in Edinburgh without a single consultant visiting the Crichton site. There is no evidence in the 'new' one that a single student, graduate, employee or member of the community was consulted.

June 28th
UCU advertisement in support of Crichton Campaign appears in The Herald next to UG graduation results.

June 22nd
Put will he, and the Scottish Executive, be able to overcome the intertia of Glasgow University's Principal?

19th June
The Guardian newspaper's Higher Education section has an interview with Chris Harvie MSP. It ends with a passionate call to defend and extend GU's provision at the Crichton Campus. More details in the archive of news items

It is vital that the individuals and institutions capable of resolving this problem are held responsible, and encouraged to find a way to reverse the closure plan. They are:

The Principal, Sir Muir Russell

The Scottish Funding Council
Roger McClure, Chief Executive

The First Minister, Alex Salmond
phone number -- 0131 348 6291.

Fiona Hyslop, the Minister for Education and Lifelong Learning:

click here for archive of press reports

12th June World's leading post-colonial theorist, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (Columbia University, New York), highlighted the crisis at the University of Glasgow, Crichton Campus (UGCC) in her presentation "Thinking about the Humanities" held at the University of Glasgow's main campus. There had been leafleting before Spivak's talk by supporters of UGCC. After the event she discussed tactics with some of the supporters.

June 2nd - Students' Garden Party held at the Crichton.

May 30th - Increasing pressure is being put on the Scottish Executive and Glasgow University to save provision at the Crichton Campus in Dumfries from both politicians and the trade unions.

UCU Lobby Executive on behalf of Crichton 23.05.07
The trade union which represents most staff at the Crichton, UCU, has stepped up its lobbying on the Executive on behalf of the Crichton. Report from the official Holyrood journal here.

Student campaign meeting with Mike Russell MSP 20.05.07
Students report a successful meeting with Mike Russell, the regional SNP MSP and member of the Executive (Minister for Environment). He asserted the importance the current Scottish Executive places on maintaining Glasgow University's presence at the Crichton Campus, and the full range of curricular options for the region. He indicates again that little can be achieved without the support of the Principal at GU main campus. For newspaper report click here.

Staff meeting with John Kemp, SFC 18.05.07
John Kemp indicated that he hoped to see GU presence at Crichton maintained. However, he doubted that increasing fully funded student places specific to GU was an option under the current funding arrangements, but he did think that there might be other options for securing recurrent funding. These options too depends on the support of the Principal and his Vice-Principals. For newspaper report click here.

Students and Staff from the Save GU at the Crichton Campaign, UCU and IWW joined The Trades Council May Day March and Rally on Saturday, 28th April 2007. Led by the the new UCU Banner, its first outing for the new combined union, with large, colourful participation from the IWW. Other unions present include the TGWU and RMT. David Bleiman, a UCU Official and Assistant General Secretary of the Scottish Trade Union Congress (TUC) spoke powerfully in support of students and staff at the Crichton, as indeed did the other speakers at the rally which included Elaine Murray MSP and Rosemary Byrne.

After the rally there was a relaxing, but informative meeting at the Coach and Horses Pub (on corner of Whitesands and Bank Street) where new plans for the campaign were discussed.

Report of the March from the Dumfries and Galloway Standard

Lobby of Court. 20.04.07
There was another lobby of University Court, Main Campus, Glasgow. Students from Crichton lay down in front of the doors to highlight the University's willingness to 'walk over' them. Newspaper Stories here and here

A well-supported quiz night, with a round based on the Crichton Campaign, was held at Greens. With a lively quiz master and plenty of drinks, the night not only raised a few quid but also boosted morale. Well down to CUCSA for organising it. Check out the CUCSA web page for other CUCSA activities


For more information on the Campaign to Save the University of Glasgow's Crichton Campus

Click Here for Official CUCSA Website

Click Here for IWW Crichton Campaign

Click here for details of UCU Campaign for Crichton

Past Actions

The leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council accuses the Principal of Glasgow University of being less than honest in his reasons for closing the Crichton. The highly paid Chief Executive of Britain's Fourth oldest university has yet to respond to these allegations, so questions build as to whether he should resign? Story as appeared in Dumfries and Galloway Standard.

Muir Russell Visit Demonstration, 20.3.07
Under heavy police guard throughout his visit to the Campus, Muir Russell was met by a sizeable and noisy demonstration of 100+ as he entered Easterbrook Hall to talk about the 'future of universities' in the place he was closing one. His answers to strong, bitter questions from the floor, most of whom had no formal connection to the Campus, as expected from a senior civil servant, were evasive and deliberately imprecise. What was clear was that:

* He still intends to pursue the closure of undergraduate study at the Crichton.
* He still shifts responsibility elsewhere (to Court to the SFC to the Scottish Executive -- anyone but himself).
* He will not guarantee that staff will not be made redudant.
* He will not guarantee to students completing their degree that the full range of courses will be available.
* He wants to move the resources currently used in deprived Dumfries to Glasgow.
* His guiding aim is for Glasgow University to be a top '50 World University' -- how being a top university is measured is unexplained, nor why this constitutes a meritorious ambition if it means denying access to the university to the most deprived areas. Even if this were a desirable goal he did not explain how losing the excellent research and teaching the Crichton will aid this nebulous ambition.

Muir Russell can expect years of demonstration, protest and disruption until a just solution to the Crichton Campus is resolved.

There was huge public anger at the Principal's performance. Representatives and members of many of the main unions have issued the following press release.

Stall in Dumfries Town Centre, 17.3.07
A dozen staff and students manned the stall in Dumfries between 11am and 2pm on Saturday, and then a small contingent went off to leaflet the Queen of the South versus Dundee game at Palmerstone. Despite the appalling weather, the Dumfries public remained almost universally supportive with over 200 new signatures being added to the petitions.

E-Mail and Phone in to the Principal
Following Wednesday 28th February, collective phone in and email in, large numbers again phoned in and contacted the Principal to inform him of their unhappiness with the closure decision and to urge and reversal. He can still be contacted on:
Tel: 0141 330 5995
Fax: 0141 330 4947

This co-ordinated action is likely to be repeated again -- but outside of an organised campaign, students are still urge supporters to contact the Principal and members of University Court, the SFC and the Scottish Executive.

Report of the action from The Big Issue.

March 3, Comedy Benefit Night
Four fantastic comedians from Edinburgh's top Comedy venue, The Stand, Niall Browne, Sian Bevan, Keir McAllister compered by Billy Kirkwood gave their services free for a sell-out (and more) Benefit Night to raise funds for the student campaign to save the University of Glasgow, Crichton Campus. The acts were brilliant, the audiences roared with laughter and over 400 was raised, alongside providing more publicity for the campaign. For Dumfries and Galloway Standard review of the benefit night click here.

Large and Very Enthusiastic Turnout at the Demonstration and Meeting Against Closure Held on Wednesday 24th January. BBC News Online report here

Campaign has included:
Demonstration at Glasgow University Main Campus on Thursday, January 25th
Report from The Herald (Glasgow) here

Picket of Scottish Funding Council and Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh on Friday, January 26th

For more information about the campaign to save Glasgow University's Crichton Campus contact

Further Reports
21st February, The main academic (and academic support) union, UCU, on the main campus voted unanimously to support the Save Crichton Campus Campaign

22nd February - As a result of the mounting campaign Crichton partner institutions and members of the Scottish Executive meet to try to resolve Crichton Campus, meeting with Principal of Glasgow University arranged, who is now being held responsible for continuing with closure plan.

Archive of News Items
Available here

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