By Uduak Udofa, Westminster Kingsway Student Union Executive
The Battersea site of Westminster Kingsway College in south London has just been threatened with closure. The college wants to sell the Battersea Park Road building and is also considering totally withdrawing from the area as a provider.
Money from the sale of the building, which has housed educational facilities for over 100 years and is part of the college where TV chef Jamie Oliver learned his trade, would be used to help resolve financial problems elsewhere in the organisation.
Closure could result in many teaching and admin job losses, as management have said that they cannot make promises about avoiding redundancies. Thousands of people could be deprived of local educational facilities.
Students, lecturers and admin staff have joined together to campaign against college management. There have already been demonstrations and meetings, with most of the college staff and many of the students involved. The campaign has revitalised the students' union, which is setting up regular meetings and newsletters to keep the college community informed and involved. They have already won a victory as college management backed down on the closure of the college gym after a petition, involving hundreds of students.
Jodianne Johnson, SU President, said: "Students are angry that we have not been listened to or even consulted about this decision. We will work with our lecturers to stop the closure until we win. It's been good working with my lecturers on the issue - students are beginning to see that we're all on the same side against the people who want to close the college."