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Students Launch Campaign As Chemistry Department Faces Axe

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Bangor University students have started a campaign against the proposed plans to close the Chemistry department in its entirety.

The campaign, Bangor Needs Chemistry, has already amassed hundreds of likes on its Facebook page since it went live this morning.

The page was set up by students in response to the proposals made by the University.

The page founder, who wishes to remain Anonymous, said: “The Facebook page was set up to raise awareness to alumni and the local community.

“The response we have had from alumni thus far has been sadness and a call to arms. They all remember the department fondly and have nothing but positives to say about it.

“Physical campaigning is already a thing. The course reps have been holding lectures getting students concerns, opinions, ideas and general feedback and meeting with the SU and reaching out to various parties.

“We intend to keep going until the end of the consultation period and will keep fighting for the department we all love whatever the outcome of the consultation may be.”

The University’s proposals would see Chemistry teaching and research at Bangor discontinue over a three-year period.

This would end all undergraduate and postgraduate programmes (English and Welsh), resulting in the direct loss of 15 academic and 3 technical staff.

The proposal is still currently under consultation, the consultation deadline for students is 25th January and for staff is 18th January. 

No firm decisions have been made. However, Chemistry staff and students are concerned these proposals will be carried out.

Lorrie Murphy, Senior Lecturer in Chemistry at Bangor University, said: “We are of course very concerned that this will become a reality.

“The University says it needs to save money – we don’t think closing the chemistry provision is the best long-term solution.”

Bangor’s chemistry department is ranked 8th in the UK for teaching quality and student experience (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018).

Bangor University is also the only institution to offer a higher education course taught through the medium of Welsh.

“UK wide, it is well recognised that chemistry as a subject area is strategically important, because of its essential contribution to the economy and wider society,” said Lorrie Murphy, Senior Lecturer in Chemistry at Bangor University.

She added: “At Bangor we perform high quality research and education and have strong links to schools in the region as well as local and national businesses.

“It is important for the North Wales that the University recognises that we are worth investing in and preserving.”

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Finnian Shardlow

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