Thursday, 29 January 2009

NUS: Staff and students to protest against university job cuts

From the National Union of Students website:

Students and lecturers will today (Wednesday) picket a governors’ meeting at the London Metropolitan University as they protest against the possibility of hundreds of job losses.

Demonstrators will gather outside the Tower Building on Holloway Road to demand that the university’s finances are properly scrutinised and that it seeks sustained funding to ensure no redundancies or further damage to the institution’s reputation.
Funding cuts

The University's funding has been cut by £18million a year due to the discovery of inaccuracies in the number of students completing their course and a further £38million is currently be repaid for previous years' over-funding.

The University and College Union (UCU) has warned that up to 500 members of staff could be made redundant as the university desperately seeks to try and make savings. The union has also complained about sanctions being made against UCU activists for some trade union activities.

Widening participation

“London Met has been one of the best institutions at widening participation in higher education and it is essential that HEFCE and the government adopt an understanding and constructive approach to solving the university’s financial problems," says NUS President Wes Streeting.

"If staff numbers are slashed, then London Met students will inevitably suffer from a lower standard of education. This must not be allowed to happen.”


“The situation at London Met is critical," says UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt. "We all need to sit down and open the books and put together a proper sustained package to ensure the university can survive. We want HEFCE and the government to consider their positions.

"We do not believe that in these tough economic times an institution such as London Met, that does so much to further the government’s widening participation agenda, can be allowed to fall by the wayside.”

Protestors will meet at 4.00pm ahead of the 5.00pm protest.

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