AN AM is demanding to know why a top-performing college is so short of cash its senior managers are being offered redundancy and courses are being cut.
Lecturers at Yale College, Wrexham, which has a student population of around 14,000, have lobbied the town’s AM Lesley Griffiths to highlight their worries over the college’s funding shortfall.
Now Ms Griffiths has told an Assembly Government minister of her “serious concerns”.
In a meeting with Skills Minister John Griffiths she told him of her worries about the funding problems.
In a letter to the minister she says: “I would be grateful if you could please clarify why Yale College has received such a poor financial settlement. As you are aware, the college recently received an excellent Work-Based Learning Estyn Inspection and is an excellent educational institution serving North East Wales.
“My constituents want to know why Yale College has received such a poor settlement in comparison to other FE Colleges and sixth form facilities attached to high schools.
“I am very concerned about the 23 voluntary redundancies recently announced by Yale College in light of this funding settlement and am particularly concerned that students are going to be affected with proposals to stop certain courses altogether, reduce teaching hours and not replace staff vacancies.
“Whilst I appreciate there is a place for self-study, I am anxious this does not become a substitute for teaching staff. I am also concerned about the reduction in the number of evening classes that Yale College will offer from September, 2008.”
The college has offered 23 senior managers voluntary redundancy because of a funding freeze.
Like most further education colleges in Wales, Yale is facing a major financial pressure, even though it has just received straight grade ones in a spectacularly good Estyn inspection, because of a disappointing funding allocation.
fforwm – the body representing Wales’ 23 FE colleges and two FE institutions – has been lobbying the Welsh Assembly Government and is encouraging individual colleges to meet their AMs to protest the settlements.
Yale’s budget is frozen at £17.238m for the year. The college has 3,200 full-time students, 10,000 part-time and 800 work-based.