MIDDLESEX philosophy department will move to Kingston University following a six-week campaign to stop it being shelved.

The programme has been dropped by Middlesex University because managers decided it was not attracting enough undergraduates.

Students and lecturers launched a series of sit-in protests to prevent the school's closure, leading to a flood of support from academics across the country, including Noam Chomsky.

The four senior professors from the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy (CRMEP) say they have won a "partial but significant victory" after being offered posts at Kingston University, in south-west London.

All full-time and part-time MA and PhD programmes will be re-launched this September and all current post-graduate students will be invited to relocate.

A joint statement by Eric Alliez, Peter Hallward, Peter Osborne and Stella Sandford said: "We believe Kingston will provide an enthusiastic and supportive base for the activities of the CRMEP.

"Although we have not won all the demands made by our campaign, the move to Kingston is a major achievement.

"We have found a way to keep all of our postgraduate programmes open and to keep most of the CRMEP staff together in a single unit.

"We have preserved a place in London for the unique academic community that has built up around the centre and its distinctive research interests."

The sit-in campaign to save the department kicked off on May 4 in Mansion House at the university's Trent Park campus, in Bramley Road.

The students were evicted 11 days later following a High Court injunction and continued their campaign with demonstrations and overnight sit-ins.

Three lecturers - Peter Osborne, Christian Kerslake and Peter Hallward - and four students were suspended following the protests.

The students have been excluded from the university for a month and the lecturers face disciplinary hearings next week.

Mr Kerslake and fellow lecturer Mark Kelly will not join the move to Kingston.

The University College Union entered into official dispute with Middlesex on June 1 and is currently planning a timetable for "greylisting", or boycotting, the university later this year.

One of the excluded students, Ali Alizadeh, 33, called the announcement "good news", but said it was "unfortunate not all the programme was saved".

He added: "The undergrads and two professors are not coming, and it's a shame we couldn't score more of a victory against the threats and intimidation by the university management - and stop the cuts."

The CRMEP will be phased out over the next two years.

Current research students will continue their studies, but there will be no recruitment of undergraduates or part-time masters students for next year, and no new research students will be accepted.

A Middlesex University spokesman said the contribution and dedication of philosophy staff was "notable", and blamed the decision on insufficient demand for places.

The university has taken on 12 new BA students each year for the past three years. It has received six firm acceptances for next year's course.

Paul Manning, security manager at the university, accused protesting students of becoming aggressive towards security staff, causing broken bones and bruising.

Students have vigourously denied the allegation.