Taking Action ... Save Our Subjects vs University of Liverpool

Protesters: Save Our Subjects
Target: University of Liverpool
Date: 12 March
Location: Liverpool

- What happened?

More than 600 protesters demonstrated against proposed department closures outside a meeting of the University of Liverpool's Senate, its governing body. The protesters were made up of union officials, students and lecturers. The campaign group Save Our Subjects (SOS) set up a Facebook group with more than 2,500 members and has asked people to send a petition to their local MPs.

- Why the protest?

The University of Liverpool has drawn up plans to scrap several departments including politics and communications, philosophy and statistics. The university said the departments' research output did not meet its 'exceptional standards'. SOS claimed the proposals would adversely affect the welfare and academic provision for students.

- How did the university respond?

Although Senate members voted 81 to 62 to press ahead with the plans, they changed the proposal to say they 'might' rather than 'should' scrap the departments.

- How did the media cover it?

The Times Higher Education broke the story, saying industrial action may be on the cards. The Daily Telegraph placed the situation in a wider context, and said the proposed closures were a symptom of universities suffering from a lack of funding. The majority of the coverage was in the regional press.

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