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Staff at multiple UK Universities face possible job cuts

Recent reports indicate that multiple UK universities, including a number of Russell Group institutions, are warning staff of the potential for job cuts amid budget strife and Brexit uncertainties.

Unstable political shifts in the UK paired with budgetary strain have led some institutions like Cardiff University to warn their staff of the potential for redundancies in early 2019. Up and down the UK, higher education providers are reporting their finances for the 2017-18 year and ‘several’ have found cause for concern in the projections produced.

“cuts would ‘harm universities’ ability to deliver high-quality teaching and research and provide the support students need”

Sources say that staff cuts are more likely than ever due to the potential effect of a no-deal or hard Brexit on international students and staff, as well as Conservative-ordered cuts to tuition fees. Matt Waddup, head of policy for the University and College Union (UCU) warned that the cuts would ‘harm universities’ ability to deliver high-quality teaching and research and provide the support students need’.

Last year large-scale strikes by UoN staff made waves both in terms of student’s schedules and the message they were sending to the university over changes to their pension schemes. Protests have continued into the 2018/19 year, with non-academic staff also striking over pay cuts.

Brexit uncertainty has plagued higher education institutions, causing concerns for the EU and international staff and students currently working and studying at Nottingham, as well as on research funding and student mobility. The University of Nottingham is yet to announce its financial reports and whether their own staff will face the threat of redundancies, and though it’s clear that the issue is a complex one, it is one that desperately needs a solution, both for the benefit of staff and students both in the UK and beyond.

 

Esme Johnson

 

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