The university has suspended entry to the course and has also announced it will close its undergraduate courses in music technology and design, music technology and sonic arts and media and visual culture. All courses are run by the Cardiff School of Art & Design.
It is understood that students are to hold a vigil tomorrow at Uwic’s Llandaff campus to protest against the cuts.
In addition, Interior Educators, the group that represents interior design students and teachers, has written to the Uwic board of governors to urge them to review the decision.
The letter points out that the Cardiff interior architecture course is highly regarded and closing it will deprive the industry of ‘high-quality and ambitious’ graduates.
The letter also criticises Uwic for apparently not consulting with staff at the course or industry stakeholders before taking a decision. A statement from Uwic says, ‘Uwic has robust processes for ensuring staff are consulted about the potential closure of a programme.’
IE director Graeme Brooker says he has offered to meet the governors to discuss the decision.
Brooker says, ‘We’re fully aware that we’re entering into a particularly difficult position in education and we understand people are under pressure.’
He adds, ‘However, the course has been there for more than 20 years and the standard of students it produces has always been regarded as one of the best in the UK. Closing the course is a huge loss to industry and people are highly disturbed by it.’
Dinah Casson, director of Casson Mann and a former external examiner at the course, says, ’It’s tragic. Graduates from the course come out well-equipped and employable and I don’t know that there are any other courses in the country that are as good.’
A statement from Uwic says, ‘Uwic regularly reviews its portfolio of programmes to ensure that they are up-to-date and relevant to student and market needs.
‘These changes will enable Uwic to build on its proud reputation for providing an excellent student experience, career-focused education and applied research and enterprise initiatives that support a buoyant economy in Wales.’
The statement adds, ‘All proposals for programme closures are put under extensive scrutiny and are reported for approval by our academic board – the senior academic decision-making body in Uwic.’