Berkshire

Reading University Systems Engineering School to close

The University of Reading Image copyright University of Reading
Image caption The university, established in 1892, attracts more than 17,000 students each year

A department has been confirmed to close at the University of Reading, with degree courses axed and job losses expected.

The closure of the School of Systems Engineering (SSE) was approved by the University Council on Monday night.

It will close due to low enrolment, an almost £2m deficit and "disappointing" academic research results.

Some subjects will be moved to new departments, but degrees including BScs in Robotics and IT will cease in 2016.

Students currently enrolled in more than ten subjects to be axed will have their degrees honoured.

'Robust action'

Staff were briefed earlier, with up to 15 academic and 20 support posts expected to go in a "worst case scenario", the university said.

The existing BSc Computer Science, which accounts for nearly 60% of all SSE undergraduates, and MSc Advanced Computer Science would continue under a new Department of Computer Science, created within the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences.

A new department of Bio-Engineering will sit within the School of Biological Sciences.

New divisions will be created to retain research expertise in certain subjects.

Vice-chancellor Sir David Bell said: "We are confident these changes are in the best long-term interests of the whole institution.

"We need to take the right decisions to expand tuition and research income, build on existing strengths, and take robust action on weaker areas."

The degrees closed to new entrants from 2016 are:

  • All Masters of Engineering programmes
  • BSc Information Technology
  • BSc Electronic Engineering
  • BSc Robotics
  • BSc Cybernetics
  • BSc Artificial Intelligence
  • MSc Digital Signal Processing and Communications;
  • MSc Robotics
  • MRes Systems Engineering
  • Variants of these programmes

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