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USW Refuses to Reveal Student Numbers

Newport Conservatives - Tuesday, June 12, 2018
USW Refuses to Reveal Student Numbers

UNIVERSITY CRITICISED FOR REFUSING TO REVEAL STUDENT NUMBERS IN NEWPORT


The University of South Wales (USW) has refused to reveal the number of students studying in Newport amid concerns there has been a sharp decline in the number undertaking degree courses in the City.

A freedom of Information request (FOI) made by the Newport Conservative Group was sent to the USW, however this was refused with the University siting ‘commercial sensitivity’.

Newport Conservative and former Mayor, Cllr David Fouweather said “It’s in the public interest to have this data. There’s been a complete lack of openness and transparency. There used be 9500 students in 2012, however I suspect this number may have dropped by more than half since then. It’s extremely concerning.”

Cllr Fouweather added “The USW was the third largest employer in the City. The loss of the Caerleon Campus has impacted hard on the local economy. Council Leader Debbie Wilcox promised us a bright future with a £60m ‘Knowledge Quarter’ including the new City Campus - but where are all the students?”

The Caerleon Campus closure announcement was made in 2014. This came shortly after Labour’s Welsh Education Minister Leighton Andrews said the University Merger “does not mean fewer students or fewer campuses”. At the time, WalesOnline quoted - “A source close to the university said staff felt ‘angry and betrayed’ following last year’s merger of Newport with the University of Glamorgan.”

Welsh Labour’s 2011 Manifesto even said “We do not intent to the closure of any of Wales Higher Educational Campuses.” Just 2 to 3 years later, the USW began planning the closure of the Caerleon Campus.

Cllr Fouweather said “Labour have a lot to answer for. They have totally let the City of Newport fall by the wayside.”



WHAT IS THE ECONOMIC IMPACT ON NEWPORT CITY CENTRE?



 

St.Julians Conservative Campaigner Michael Enea said “We submitted two other FOI’s to highlight the impact on the City’s night-time economy. Newport Council revealed there are just 15 on-trade premises (nightclubs) with licenses of 1am to 3am. Gloucester City Council revealed 28 there. A Wednesday night in Newport used to attract 2000 students, but now you’d be lucky to find 400. It’s not just nightclubs that has been affected - think of hairdressers, pubs, restaurants, shops, etc.”



NEWPORT LABOUR IMPACT THE CITY CENTRE ECONOMY


 

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