ANGRY students whose courses are in danger of being axed are protesting at their university after it announced scores of potential redundancies.
But vice chancellor of Solent University Professor Graham Baldwin yesterday issued a statement to staff in which he reassured them of the university’s “financially strong position”. He said the leadership were “working to ensure they retain a skilled and agile workforce”.
Organisers of the student meeting said staff at the university face scores of job losses and added: “The university bosses are making cuts. This will lead to staff losing their jobs, potential course closures.
“The access to learning fund has already been cut.”
A comment on the Socialist Students Southampton Facebook group said: “The result of the marketisation of higher education isn’t better quality education, it’s cut-backs to staff, courses and resources in the reckless pursuit of profit. Students are not just cash cows.”
As previously reported, Solent University have announced the need to make “significant savings” and have already rolled out severance schemes, but say the job losses would not affect the running of the university, which just a few months ago unveiled its £33 million bright red ‘Spark’ building – a lecture hall built in a pod on stilts on East Park Terrace.
The redundancy announcement prompted unions UCU and UNISON to hold a ballot in which 91.5 per cent of their members gave a vote of no confidence in Professor Baldwin – whose 2016-2017 salary totals nearly £300,000 including performance related pay of more than £10,000 and an employer’s pension contribution of £35,187.
A spokesperson for Southampton Solent University said: “We are aware of the student-led event and our Students Union, as representatives of the student body, are keeping us updated on student views and concerns.”