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Universities Face Job Cuts

Posted by Richard Ward in ,

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

A number of universities are warning staff to prepare for redundancies in the new year.

Reports suggest that more than half a dozen universities have informed staff there could be job cuts in 2019, citing lower student recruitment forecasts as well as deteriorating balance sheets.

However, Matt Waddup, head of policy for the University and College Union (UCU) suggests overstretching current staff is unsustainable and will harm universities' ability to deliver high-quality teaching and research.

He added: "Students repeatedly say they want greater investment in their staff as a top priority, yet the proportion of expenditure spent on staff has fallen. Cutting staff will send out entirely the wrong signal to potential students. Axing educators is obscene at any time, let alone during the current uncertainty when we need our universities firing on all cylinders."

The University of Reading is one institution that has emailed staff to inform them that a voluntary redundancy scheme was being drawn up.

The latest financial results for the university show that it made a loss of £20m for the financial year.

Meanwhile, the vice-chancellor at Cardiff University, Colin Riordan, has written to staff telling them they will be offered voluntary redundancy from January.

Other universities considering cost cutting include Birkbeck College in London, which has a "voluntary exit scheme", open for staff, and Bangor University in Wales, which is looking to save £5m.

However, some institutions continue to thrive, with the University of Oxford reporting income of more than £1.5bn for the first time, with an overall surplus of £150m for 2017-18.