Monday, February 8, 2010

Let the bad times roll: Job losses bite into HE

One word for this story...


Read more below:
Thousands to lose jobs as universities prepare to cope with cuts | Education | The Guardian: "Universities across the country are preparing to axe thousands of teaching jobs, close campuses and ditch courses to cope with government funding cuts, the Guardian has learned.

Other plans include using post-graduates rather than professors for teaching and the delay of major building projects. The proposals have already provoked ballots for industrial action at a number of universities in the past week raising fears of strike action which could severely disrupt lectures and examinations.

The Guardian spoke to vice-chancellors and other senior staff at 25 universities, some of whom condemned the funding squeeze as 'painful' and 'insidious'. They warned that UK universities were being pushed towards becoming US-style, quasi-privatised institutions.

The cuts are being put in place to cope with the announcement last week by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (Hefce) that £449m – equivalent to more than a 5% reduction nationally – would be stripped out of university budgets.

The University and College Union (UCU) believes that more than 15,000 posts – the majority academic – could disappear in the next few years. Precise funding figures for each university will be released on 18 March."

Difficult times ahead. Could wax lyrical about this being an opportunity for efficiency savings, OER being mainstreamed into education, working smarter not harder, innovating our way out of a restrictive financial climate, opportunities for change etc. But... doesn't the above just suck? Bankers and governments get us into a financial nightmare... and Higher Education gets to pay a significant price as a result.

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