There are a variety of reasons why a decision may be taken to close a programme, including, for example:
- a decline in student demand such that the viability of the provision is threatened;
- a new programme is approved which replaces existing provision;
- a reduction in funding or in funded student numbers;
- documented concerns about the standards and/or quality of the provision, which may affect its credibility;
- a change in University, Faculty or the partner’s priorities for academic development;
- failure to meet the criteria set by the relevant group following a portfolio review exercise.
Many programme closures at Oxford Brookes are routine administrative exercises, involving the closure of programmes with no remaining students, or of those from which students are transferring onto improved, newly-validated replacement programmes. However, some programme closures require more complex issues to be addressed because the decision to close has implications for:
- remaining students, in respect of completing their studies;
- applicants holding offers of places on the programme;
- and/or for staff, whose positions may be at risk.
The procedures to be followed in these cases are set out in section 5.3 below. The appropriate closure process must be followed in order to assure the quality and standards of provision being phased out, so as to prevent reputational damage to the University and to protect the interests of students and applicants.