Keep BSc Observational Astronomy at the University of South Wales
This petition had 1,188 supporters
As of 22nd October 2014, students of the BSc Observational Astronomy course at the University of South Wales were informed that the course will be shut-down.
It is based on a financial review of "small courses" across the university, so is just one of the courses being phased out over the next few years.
A decision was made by the University that they would have to save money by cutting back courses that do not have viable module populations. In other words, not enough students > not enough money. Current students will be able to complete their studies although the Faculty has decided to end recruitment.
This particular course is actually very unique in the United Kingdom; focussing more on actual astronomy throughout the entirety of the degree rather than a taste of it at the end of 3 years of Physics (for example). This is one of the many reasons people choose to study this course and also means that students who don't necessarily have a strong background in the sciences and/or mathematics are able to study here.
The course is also very well connected with organisations.
It works with the Faulkes Telescope Project which provides access to 1,500 hours of observing time on two 2-metre class telescopes located in Hawaii (Faulkes Telescope North in Hawaii) and Australia (Faulkes Telescope South in Australia). This time is dedicated to education and public outreach, mainly in the UK, but also for smaller, selected projects in Europe and the US.
Members of the astronomy team have been praised by scientists in Cambridge University for their work in astronomy education. Some course lecturers and students also attend Astrofest where they run a stand.
It is the perfect course for anyone who seriously wants to get into astronomy in the UK and really, it's the only course of its kind (so much so that a number of students only applied to this course).
The course is taught by highly experienced, qualified and recognised lecturers in astronomy who have worked very hard to create this course and have very recently revamped it.
The list of reasons to continue this course is endless but the decision makers don't seem to understand the importance of science education.
Please sign this petition and help save BSc Observational Astronomy at the University of South Wales, otherwise... it may just disappear.
[Image taken by current student with Faulkes Telescope South - M20 (Trifid Nebula)]
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