In the late 1980s, Government legislation was changing and allowing Polytechnics that meet a certain criteria, to become Universities. Among these future Universities was FairIsle Polytechnic. One aspect in this legislation was that Polytechnics that provided Non-Advanced Further Education courses (NAFE) would have to hand over these courses and the current site to the local authority. FairIsle’s current NAFE studies took place at their Fawley Ridge site, a highly valued and vast area of land. At the same time, FairIsle was facing space problems with a current student roll of 11,000 and growing, coupled with current inappropriate and unserviceable buildings. The site at Fawley Ridge not only was valuable as a financial asset, but also an already established piece of land for the Polytechnic to expand its operations. The problem however with Fawley Ridge was that the site was a considerable distance and difficult to reach. Paul Kost was appointed as the new Director and Derek Elliot was appointed the head of the Department of Continental Management. Elliot was told the site at Fawley Ridge was out of financial control and ordered by Kost to remove the head lecturer Cyril Lancashire. The staff at Fawley Ridge were loyal to Lancashire and believed he was unfairly treated by the new managerial staff. A hypothetical story was then leaked by disgruntled staff at Fawley Ridge that the site would close. The story reached local papers and Paul Kost and Derek Elliot fronted an angry public meeting, consisting of current staff and students. This incident was a catalyst for the resentment building up in staff and students in reaction to the perceived radical changes taking place at FairIsle Polytechnic. Shortly after this incident, Kost attempted to acquire a building from the Textile Industry Association (TIA) to solve the ever worsening space problem. This deal was not consulted with students and would force them to move to a different site. This...
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