TOP level talks are being sought over the future plans for Kirkcaldy’s midwifery campus.
The university, which runs the School of Nursing and Midwifery in Forth Avenue, is currently carrying out a review after a drop in student numbers - and it may no longer be viable to run the mental health course in both Fife and Dundee.
The threat comes six years after students campaigned to keep the campus open after plans emerged to relocate it to Tayside.
Mr Brown has written to Professor Downes this week seeking to discuss a proposal from the Dean of Nursing and Midwifery to locate the mental health programme from Kirkcaldy to the City Campus in Dundee, and any implications this proposed move would have.
He said: “I am concerned about what this means for students from Fife and also the future viability of the Kirkcaldy Campus.
“I would like to see enhanced higher education provision in Fife - I certainly do not want to see facilities and opportunities being lost.”
Mr Brown has also written to the dean of nursing and midwifery asking for clarification on what other options are being considered.
One retired nurse and nursing lecturer who contacted the Press expressed fears that if mental health nurse education stopped in Kirkcaldy the university would attempt to centralise services and move staff and students to Dundee.
She said: “The state of the art hospital recently built in Kirkcaldy will require a steady supply of reliable, well educated registered nurses. If the University of Dundee continues on its present course and systematically closes Fife Campus, it would be a potential disaster for long term healthcare in Fife.”
A spokesman for the university said as a result of a ‘significant reduction’ in student numbers and changes in teaching capacity in mental health, an option appraisal is being carried out with regard to the delivery of the programme. He said: “The options being considered include continuing to deliver the programme at both sites or concentrating delivery in either Dundee or Kirkcaldy.
“Our absolute priority is to ensure that students get the best possible experience.
“It is also important to highlight that 50 per cent of the overall programme is delivered in clinical practice and this element will remain unchanged.
“Irrespective of which option is chosen, students will continue to be placed in practice areas across Fife and Tayside. There is also no change to the rest of our nursing education provision, which continues at both Dundee and Kirkcaldy.”