A fine art student at Bangor University’s School of Life Long Learning is worried he may not be able to finish his studies after learning his course was to be axed.

David Owen, 53 from Llanberis, who along with 11 of his fellow students, is in the final year of his two year course was told the news by tutors three weeks ago.

Previously unemployed Mr Owen, who hoped to become a painter once the course had ended, said: “They were just as surprised as we were about the news. It’s hard for me to get my head round, I’m devastated.”

Fellow fine art student Rose Cantrell has set up a petition against the move that has so far attracted more than 700 signatures.

She said: “I need to fight the move or I’ll be back in Open University which involves night classes in Colwyn Bay or Aberystwyth which I’d have to get to using public transport.”

Bangor University is carrying out a review of its activities including new ways of delivering adult education and fine arts programmes.

A Bangor University spokesperson said: “We wish to see these programmes provided in a manner that ensures their continued availability in the region, whilst at the same time releasing resources and capacity within the university.

“We are exploring new delivery methods for these programmes in conjunction with Gr?p Llandrillo Menai as well as other internal options.”

Arfon AM Sian Gwenllian, who has requested an emergency meeting with the university to discuss the matter, said: “Firstly, I would like to understand what will happen to the students that have already enrolled on courses at the school.

“I would like to understand the implications of closing the department for people in the area that wish to join the world of further education later in life or wish to study part-time to accommodate their living situations.

“I want assurance that managers at the university have discussed any changes with staff at the school and have listened carefully to their opinions before reaching any decisions.”