University of Sussex approves £5m cuts – and 107 job cuts

The University of Sussex has approved plans to  cut more than 100 jobs to save £5 million.

The university’s council met this afternoon to discuss changes to the original proposals to cut teaching positions in “unpopular” subjects, as well as security, creche and support staff.

The number of jobs lost has been reduced from 115 to 107, with the creation of 20 new posts remaining the same.

The news is already causing a storm on Twitter – click here to follow the reaction.

Following Council, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Farthing, said: “Council endorsed the approach taken by the University to achieve the financial targets set in summer 2009 to address our deficit. This approach is in line with the strategic direction set by Council to continue to invest in potential growth, and to reduce spending in targeted areas.”

“They also endorsed the view from Senate – the University’s main academic body – that we have a pressing need to make the savings we have identified and to move ahead on the timetable that we have set out.

“This is what we will now focus on. All schools and units at Sussex now have that certainty of clear decisions made by Council, so together we can plan effectively for the academic year ahead.”

The university is now hoping to work with trades unions and staff to identify people willing to take voluntary redundancy so compulsory layoffs can be avoided. It says it will also try and further reduce the number of redundancies.

A redundancy committee has also been created, which will meet in the second week of June.

The cuts have prompted a storm of protest, both from students who have staged demonstrations and sit-ins, and from members of the University and College Union (UCU), which went on strike on March 18.

The news so many jobs are still at risk will come as a blow to the UCU, which described its last meeting with outgoing deputy vice chancellor as its “most positive yet”.

  1. Cllr Ben Duncan Reply

    This decision is a massive blow for education in Sussex.

    It means fewer subjects will be taught, and students will face less support in their studies – just when they are being asked to pay more than ever before just to be at university.

    It’s an attack on education itself – the university management should have listened to staff and students, and looked at alternative ways of saving the money than sacking academics and closing facilities.

    If it was serious about getting us out of recession, creating jobs and backing innovation the Government would be ensuring higher education is properly funded: that means more money for universities and students, not less.

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