In the face of severe financial difficulties occasioned by the clawback of funding on the part of the Higher Education Funding Council for England, London Metropolitan University is proposing to phase out Caribbean Studies, as well as cut back Spanish and Latin American Studies, placing the Caribbean Studies Centre and the International Institute for the Study of Cuba under threat.
A “Case for the Retention of Caribbean Studies” has been drafted explaining the significance of Caribbean Studies in its expertise and dedication to undergraduate and postgraduate programs, providing service to a wide variety of students. Some 450 students have graduated in Caribbean Studies (since its inception 21 years ago) and postgraduate provision, which began in 1996 with a Caribbean pathway on the Masters in Research led to an MPhil/PhD program. The “Case” stresses the Caribbean Studies Centre’s excellence in research; throughout the years, a strong academic profile has been maintained through publications, editorial work on prestigious journals, service on peer-review and research bodies and as members of learned institutes, organizing and hosting high-profile events, and participating in conferences at home and abroad. The document also highlights the Centre’s outreach in academia and beyond, as well as its service to community, media, government, and business at local, national, regional and international levels.
The purpose of the “Case for the Retention of Caribbean Studies” is to underline the dangers of losing such a valuable program: “Indeed, it could be extremely damaging to the institution as a whole not to consider Caribbean Studies and the Caribbean Studies Centre as important to London Met’s long-term recovery strategy, given the key role it is playing and can play in the future development of home and overseas collaborative relations with a widening number of other universities, throughout the Americas and Europe, and globally.”
For the full text of the Case for the Retention of Caribbean Studies or information on how to help, contact Jonathan Curry-Machado firstname.lastname@example.org
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