Closure of CDS Workshop: Impact on Student Experience

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Dear CDS Students,

You may be aware that Cranfield University is currently undertaking financial savings. As part of this, 33 CDS staff will lose their jobs. For further information, see:

It is proposed that the workshop should close and the 13 members of staff who work there will lose their jobs and we students will lose a valuable resource.

We are asking you to help us fight this closure by signing this petition.

This closure affects our student experience here at CDS:

  • We rely on the workshop staff to advise us on the conceptual stages of component design.
  • They have the knowledge and experience to interpret our drawings even though many of us are unable to produce standard engineering drawings.
  • They provide a wealth of knowledge and experience to assist students with their studies.
  • They take an active role in commissioning, testing, and maintaining experimental rigs.
  • The cost of low volume, high customisation components such as testing rigs and jigs will increase dramatically if the requirement is outsourced. This may well detract from the provision of other resources that are critical to your research experience.
  • It is uncertain whether similar expertise and knowledge could be accessed externally.
  • The time for component delivery will be affected, resulting in less streamlined operations and delays to your research project.
  • Ad-hoc solutions will be hindered (modification or quick fixes of components), again impacting on your research timetable.
  • External provision of similar services will cost more, take longer and be more problematic to amend.

This proposal will not enhance the experience of students studying at CDS. It will also impact negatively on the academic staff, our supervisors.

Other leading universities, both national and International, offer several workshops, some within departments, and see this as essential provision for taught and research student activity.

The Vice Chancellor argues that “The world within which we work is changing very rapidly and will continue to evolve. The global economy and higher education funding, the way people learn and conduct research, student and customer expectations, and growing international competition all require us to adapt and innovate.”…“In moving forward, we need to continue to strengthen our reputation and resilience.”... “We must focus on those areas of excellence and distinctive strength which will contribute to the future growth and success of the University, enhancing the student experience and meeting the needs of our customers in Government and industry.”

Getting rid of the workshop does not add value. Student expectations and experience will be negatively affected. The research community at CDS and its future growth will be negatively affected. Student feedback and, as a result, Cranfield’s status and reputation will be negatively affected.

We urge you to please sign this petition and add comments on how you view this proposal or how the workshop has helped you with your research.

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