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Closure of Glass and Ceramics Dept at Wolverhampton School of Art


Devastating news that most of the BA, and all the MA, courses at Wolverhampton School of Art  (WSoA) are to be suspended with immediate effect, and that there will be no new intake this academic year. BA Fine Art and a couple of other BA Graphics design courses will remain. 

In effect, this means the permanent closure of the Glass and Ceramics BA and MA courses. Glass, as a teaching subject at WSoA will finish, and the course will no longer be part of the West Midlands landscape as it has been since the 1850s. It is – or was – the oldest Glass course in the country.

As such they are at a loss as to what to do. Details have been deliberately kept scant, and there is evasion from the VC and Dean about what is really behind the decision to close courses that are materially rich and culturally important. In essence the Craft courses at WSoA have been hollowed out and destroyed. 

To many of us it seems an ideological decision rather than one based on economics or choice. Lack of investment over the past decade and proper marketing of the School of Art both points to this.

Coupled with this, the government’s emphasis on STEM subjects (Science, Technology, English and Maths) appears to be behind these cuts – as Arts teaching is being downgraded and now, at Wolverhampton University, just about eradicated. 

if you are be appalled at this news and would all like to express your concerns to Maggie Ayliffe, the Head of School. You can contact her on

Maggie is as devastated as the rest of us, and will be wanting to garner support and protest over the coming days and weeks.  I do feel we cannot take this lying down. Your voices would be important to us.

About the School of Art

Wolverhampton School of Art has been at the centre of the city’s creative and industrial strategy since the 1850s when our first purpose-built art school was commissioned. Our iconic home, designed by Charles Wheeler, was formally opened to students in October 1970 and has dominated the Wolverhampton skyline ever since.

Students on our art, design and screen-based courses join a creative, practice led community in which they find the time, space and resources to gain high level skills as makers and learn to understand the historical and contemporary scope of their subject. 

Socially engaged and community arts practice is core to our history and vision and the Wolverhampton School of Art has a long tradition of working with industry, civic and community partners. We embrace a diverse student body and aim to provide targeted and public access opportunities through an outreach programme that includes school/college experience days, the annual Artsfest and degree shows, exhibitions, conferences and public lectures.