100 signatures reached
To: Vice Chancellor Peter Horrocks
Save Open University regional centres and student support services
Please don't close vital academic and student services in seven English regional centres
Why is this important?
On 14th September the Vice Chancellor and Student Services Director at the Open University announced plans to close seven English regional centres in Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol, Birmingham, Leeds, Gateshead and London. They claim this is with the aim of putting students first and giving them a better support services experience.
500 highly qualified, experienced and dedicated staff members stand to lose their jobs or face having to compete to retain their posts at another location with all the disruption this causes.
Worst of all is that their academic and student support expertise would be lost. The Open University has already closed one regional centre and transferred student services from a regional to a faculty based model. This already means that students who once could have all their support needs met in one team might now have to contact as many as four separate teams for this. Increasing reliance on online resources also leaves students floundering when they could previously speak to a student support expert as a first resort. The plans to close offices and jettison staff teams with as much as 190 years of academic and student support experience among them, for new, inexperienced staff working in call centre conditions are only likely to further reduce the quality of service students can expect