Degrees resume as college works to ‘resolve’ financial issues

Schumacher College, which is run by the Dartington Trust, delayed the start of several courses by one day

September 19, 2023
Source: iStock

Several degree programmes that were postponed at an English higher education provider have now resumed.

The beginning of the 2023-24 academic year was put on hold for a number of courses at Schumacher College, in Devon, at the end of last week.

The Dartington Trust, which runs the ecological studies college, said that some of the issues in question had been resolved – meaning the courses can begin as planned.

All other scheduled courses, events and activities will continue as normal.

“We are sorry for the inconvenience that this challenging situation caused to students and their families, and we look forward to them starting their studies,” said a spokesperson for the trust.

“We have been working intensively with our partners and stakeholders to resolve the issues which arose last week.”

Schumacher College is a college for ecological studies offering postgraduate and undergraduate programmes, research degrees, short courses and a practical agroecology residency.

The programmes had been due to start on 18 September, but were put on hold by the trust, which also operates Dartington Arts School in Totnes.

It had said students were “understandably concerned” by the delay, which came about following a review of its operations over the summer, which was aiming to operate the institution on a more sustainable approach”.

The trust said it will continue to formulate realistic options for a way forward for Schumacher College and “these options are now being progressed to test feasibility”.

“Although this work is still ongoing, we are confident that it is no longer necessary to ‘pause’ learning,” the spokesperson added.

“We would like to thank our partners and stakeholders for their support which has enabled us to reduce the course postponement to just one day.”

The work was led by Lord Triesman, the chair of trustees, the trustee board, and Robert Fedder, the interim chief executive.

Schumacher College is based on the historic Dartington Estate near Totnes, Devon.

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