STUDENTS at Swinburne TAFE's Lilydale campus were left reeling last week at news that the campus will be closed from July next year.
The closure, announced on Friday afternoon, will force the campus's 2500 enrolled students to move to Swinburne's other campuses or find new courses elsewhere.
TAFE courses in hospitality, leisure, recreation and tourism will be discontinued and up to 240 teaching and general staff made redundant across Swinburne's university and TAFE campuses.
Liberal arts student Amie Watson was in the library when she heard the news via Facebook and "then Twitter just blew up with the news".
The Healesville resident said her studies would finish at the end of this year but she was still "pretty upset" about the news. "They haven't taken the students into account at all. I think Swinburne is pretty stupid to do this."
Ms Watson said for many Yarra Ranges residents, moving to the Hawthorn campus was not a viable option. "It is nowhere near Lilydale."
Belgrave resident Carissa Cowell, who will graduate in a few months from her children's services TAFE course, said she had been considering coming back to study at Lilydale next year but would now reconsider if the campus was not open.
"I like the location here. I like that it's not crowded and there are not too many people and I like the staff," she said.
Human resource management student Madura Samarajeewa said the appeal of the Lilydale campus was that it was small and easy to get around. "This is a good place. It's nice and quiet."
Swinburne vice-chancellor Professor Linda Kristjanson said in a statement the closure was due to fewer courses being offered and a decline in demand.
"Our need to refocus what we do means that we have needed to make difficult decisions across the board. Ceasing operations at Lilydale is certainly the hardest decision of all."
Evelyn MP Christine Fyffe said she was angry and bitterly disappointed at Swinburne's decision. "This is a huge blow to students in my electorate."
Students currently enrolled at the Lilydale campus will be offered positions at its other campuses and through Swinburne Online from July 2013. Swinburne said most would be transferred into the Croydon and Wantirna campuses.