Universities cutting staff - is your university affected?

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PQ
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So before lockdown and the pandemic a lot of universities had disruption to teaching because of strike action due to disputes over pensions and pay/working conditions for academic staff. The pandemic over-took that national action but a handful of universities are now proposing staff and department cuts (which risks strike action affecting students at those universities plus staff shortages/course closures if the cuts go ahead).

I've tried to summarise the universities and departments affected below

Are you going to be affected by these courses or staff cuts or by strike action?


Aston - staff and students are objecting to the closure of the department of history, languages and translation. 24 jobs at risk of redundancy plus closure of 12 undergraduate courses (and around 220 current students). The department is due to close to new students in 2022. more info

UAL - London College of Fashion are in dispute over cuts to research contracts with a plan to take further action.

Birmingham City - dispute over the safety of return to campus teaching. Staff involved are currently refusing to attend on-site and working to contractual hours only.

Cardiff - a dispute over the university refusing to reassure staff that they will not be compelled to work face to face on campus. Currently planning a ballot on industrial action

Chester - job cuts. The university issued redundancy notice for 86 jobs. The union have negotiated this down to 4 jobs with a ballot proposed for industrial action if this doesn't drop to zero.

UCA - Rochester campus is due to be closed with 150 jobs as well as all courses offered at that campus.

Exeter - a dispute with staff over the performance rights of staff in recorded lectures and learning materials. This is a new dispute so there's no proposals to ballot for industrial action or similar yet.

Goldsmiths - university management are currently proposing £4m in job cuts because the university is in financial trouble. Staff have given the management until early September to work with them or they'll take action. more info

Hull - A ballot is live for industrial action due to proposed staff cuts in languages. Hull has already closed some languages courses to applicants for 2021. press coverage

Kent - Staff are taking industrial action over a proposal to cut nearly 150 staff jobs. The job cuts are because the university is in financial trouble press coverage

Kingston - closing BA Politics, Human Rights and IR, History courses and severe staff cuts in Media, Communications and Film Studies courses. Up to 55 jobs set to be cut in these departments.

Leeds - job cuts in the School of Medicine and Faculty of Biological Sciences. press coverage

Leicester - strikes and walk-outs are ongoing at Leicester with 145 jobs at risk (following 162 redundancies in 2020) press coverage

Liverpool - students at Liverpool didn't get their work marked this year due to the ongoing disputes. The job cuts are targeting the Faculty of Health & Life Sciences.

London South Bank - Closure of courses in the School of Law & Social Sciences with further plans to cut more courses by 2022.

Portsmouth - Job cuts in the English Literature course.

Royal Holloway - A new strategy putting jobs at risk has been delayed until October. There's a plan to reduce staffing in Drama, theatre & dance, Earth sciences, Humanities, Mathematics, Music and Social Work as well as possible big changes to the courses offered by those departments.

Sheffield - Industruial action is due to start soon in response to the closure of the Department of Archaeology.

Staffordshire - are planning to recruit all new staff to a subsidiary company instead of the main university with worse terms and conditions. Management say this is necessary due to financial trouble.

Sussex - staff are soon to be balloted about industrial action due to possible job cuts as part of the university adjusting the size and shape of their academic departments.
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artful_lounger
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My current uni (SOAS) isn't one of those above but is one that has been cutting staff and courses for a little while now as part of major restructuring efforts to cut costs due to ongoing financial problems...sadly the entire ancient near eastern studies programme has been axed, and many others downsized and most of the remaining "regional studies" programmes (African Studies, South East Asian Studies, South Asian Studies, etc) have been restructured into a single programme called "Languages and Cultures" which is considerably more generic as a result with fewer text and similar modules tied to particular cultures/regions/languages and more general "world literature/media/culture" modules to fill the space left by those.

Additionally a lot of the other, smaller language subjects seem to have had their language stages reduced to 1 or 2, as opposed to 3+ - so you can only study those languages for up to two years (or sometimes only a single year) instead of to degree level as before. One also has to wonder what SOAS is doing to promote those in-house to students on other degree programmes, as external examiners have noted that it's shocking how low the takeup of languages is at SOAS, especially the rarer languages it has specialisms in. Finally, the single honours linguistics programme was also cut leaving just a joint honours programme, despite external examiners reports offering glowing praise of the course and how well it prepares students in that field.

Of course those cuts weren't covid related and were already planned, due to the aforementioned financial difficulties of the uni...it's sad to see those courses that made SOAS truly unique cut and the more generic ones like "economics" and "management" and "accounting and finance" left - subjects which you can study at any number of unis, whereas things like African Studies were only available in the UK at SOAS for undergraduate study as far as I'm aware were cut. The "School of Oriental and African Studies" seems to be rapidly turning into the "School of Studies"
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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RoHo music here. Tiz all pretty ****, cannot be denied! :no:
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PQ
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(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
RoHo music here. Tiz all pretty ****, cannot be denied! :no:
It was a really *****y list to put together.

It’s scary the variety of universities and subjects affected.
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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(Original post by PQ)
It was a really *****y list to put together.

It’s scary the variety of universities and subjects affected.
PRSOM

Such depressing and worrying reading. Being the gobby cow I am, I led the student 'fight-back' against cuts/changes to my Dept. and that has had some small effect. Tried to galvanise the PGR community fight-back more generally for other subjects but everyone's (understandably) feeling rather hopeless
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PhoenixFortune
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My uni isn't on that list, but as a PGR in languages (and related disciplines), the cuts at Aston are a travesty in our circles.

My university has had the threat of redundancies every year for about 4 years, and a few well-respected academics took voluntary redundancy as a way to both ease the pressure on our school, and to remove themselves from the consistent anxiety and vulnerability of the situation. The schools within our college are constantly changing names as well as the remaining staff take on more responsibilities across degree courses - since I started doing my MA there in 2017, my school has had 4 different names, the current one actually being one of the better simpler ones.

Given the cuts, it really makes getting an academic job less and less likely, and more depressing.
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random_matt
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Surprised about Kent, they charge London prices on accommodation.
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PQ
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(Original post by PhoenixFortune)
My uni isn't on that list, but as a PGR in languages (and related disciplines), the cuts at Aston are a travesty in our circles.

My university has had the threat of redundancies every year for about 4 years, and a few well-respected academics took voluntary redundancy as a way to both ease the pressure on our school, and to remove themselves from the consistent anxiety and vulnerability of the situation. The schools within our college are constantly changing names as well as the remaining staff take on more responsibilities across degree courses - since I started doing my MA there in 2017, my school has had 4 different names, the current one actually being one of the better simpler ones.

Given the cuts, it really makes getting an academic job less and less likely, and more depressing.
Voluntary redundancies are such a con. They’re toxic to staff morale because the staff who can find jobs elsewhere leave, and those that are left are a mix of the staff who have been promoted above their ability (so incapable of getting a similar job elsewhere) and those that are stuck due to personal commitments (family, part time contracts, caring, too close to retirement, considered too valuable). So the work gets split between the useless and the stuck and everything and everyone suffers.
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PhoenixFortune
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(Original post by PQ)
Voluntary redundancies are such a con. They’re toxic to staff morale because the staff who can find jobs elsewhere leave, and those that are left are a mix of the staff who have been promoted above their ability (so incapable of getting a similar job elsewhere) and those that are stuck due to personal commitments (family, part time contracts, caring, too close to retirement, considered too valuable). So the work gets split between the useless and the stuck and everything and everyone suffers.
Exactly. The ones that left voluntarily were definitely pretty confident of finding positions elsewhere, and also didn't have any dependents or other specific ties to the region. Some of the staff in my department who nearly got the chop were those nearing retirement, so wouldn't have easily found work elsewhere given their age.
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JCMorgan1962
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(Original post by PQ)
So before lockdown and the pandemic a lot of universities had disruption to teaching because of strike action due to disputes over pensions and pay/working conditions for academic staff. The pandemic over-took that national action but a handful of universities are now proposing staff and department cuts (which risks strike action affecting students at those universities plus staff shortages/course closures if the cuts go ahead).

I've tried to summarise the universities and departments affected below

Are you going to be affected by these courses or staff cuts or by strike action?


Aston - staff and students are objecting to the closure of the department of history, languages and translation. 24 jobs at risk of redundancy plus closure of 12 undergraduate courses (and around 220 current students). The department is due to close to new students in 2022. more info

UAL - London College of Fashion are in dispute over cuts to research contracts with a plan to take further action.

Birmingham City - dispute over the safety of return to campus teaching. Staff involved are currently refusing to attend on-site and working to contractual hours only.

Cardiff - a dispute over the university refusing to reassure staff that they will not be compelled to work face to face on campus. Currently planning a ballot on industrial action

Chester - job cuts. The university issued redundancy notice for 86 jobs. The union have negotiated this down to 4 jobs with a ballot proposed for industrial action if this doesn't drop to zero.

UCA - Rochester campus is due to be closed with 150 jobs as well as all courses offered at that campus.

Exeter - a dispute with staff over the performance rights of staff in recorded lectures and learning materials. This is a new dispute so there's no proposals to ballot for industrial action or similar yet.

Goldsmiths - university management are currently proposing £4m in job cuts because the university is in financial trouble. Staff have given the management until early September to work with them or they'll take action. more info

Hull - A ballot is live for industrial action due to proposed staff cuts in languages. Hull has already closed some languages courses to applicants for 2021. press coverage

Kent - Staff are taking industrial action over a proposal to cut nearly 150 staff jobs. The job cuts are because the university is in financial trouble press coverage

Kingston - closing BA Politics, Human Rights and IR, History courses and severe staff cuts in Media, Communications and Film Studies courses. Up to 55 jobs set to be cut in these departments.

Leeds - job cuts in the School of Medicine and Faculty of Biological Sciences. press coverage

Leicester - strikes and walk-outs are ongoing at Leicester with 145 jobs at risk (following 162 redundancies in 2020) press coverage

Liverpool - students at Liverpool didn't get their work marked this year due to the ongoing disputes. The job cuts are targeting the Faculty of Health & Life Sciences.

London South Bank - Closure of courses in the School of Law & Social Sciences with further plans to cut more courses by 2022.

Portsmouth - Job cuts in the English Literature course.

Royal Holloway - A new strategy putting jobs at risk has been delayed until October. There's a plan to reduce staffing in Drama, theatre & dance, Earth sciences, Humanities, Mathematics, Music and Social Work as well as possible big changes to the courses offered by those departments.

Sheffield - Industruial action is due to start soon in response to the closure of the Department of Archaeology.

Staffordshire - are planning to recruit all new staff to a subsidiary company instead of the main university with worse terms and conditions. Management say this is necessary due to financial trouble.

Sussex - staff are soon to be balloted about industrial action due to possible job cuts as part of the university adjusting the size and shape of their academic departments.
I have just completed year 1 of my course, but last November I was talking to my tutor about my module choices in year 2. She said that for the whole of my three year course they we not going to do module choices, just a set course. There has been no official notification of this and the uni website is still advertising the course with all the module choices, with a small disclaimer at the bottom saying subject to change. I’m guessing this is probably due to staff shortages, but it amazes me that nothing has been said about it, either by the uni or by my fellow students 🤷*♀️
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Onebusywoman
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Why do Cardiff staff think they have the right to keep students working on line when Wales is open - speaks volumes what they think of the students - industrial action so they can stay home and put on the lectures they have already prepared for the previous year disgusting behaviour.

Is this information up to date or based on the newspaper reports from January 2021
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Mesopotamian.
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I’m surprised my university isn’t on the list. I know some of our non-clinical staff were worried about their job last summer when the pandemic hit, but I’m hoping a lack of talk within my university about this subject and it’s absence on your list means they thought better of their decision.
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