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HomeEducationAcademic InnovationUK universities are facing massive cuts
900,000 public sector jobs will disappear

UK universities are facing massive cuts

Redacción

As part of cuts being made to higher education nationally, two universities in the North West of England are imposing attacks detrimental to the terms and conditions of thousands of workers and thousands of students.

The University of Liverpool has demanded that 2,803 non-academic staff accept inferior working conditions or face dismissal. The University of Salford is imposing its 13th round of job cuts in two years, and closing down entire departments.

This offensive against workers’ conditions is part of a broader trend of mass job losses across the UK education system, due to massive budget cuts in recent years.

Overall, the government forecasts 900,000 public sector jobs will be destroyed between 2010 and 2018 due to budget cuts. A further 300,000 jobs may be lost by 2018 due to further budget shortfalls, according to a study by the Institute of Fiscal Studies.

In Liverpool, all hourly paid staff (every employee except academics) are being forced to reapply for their jobs with worse terms and conditions. In June university management issued notices for dismissal (section 188) to staff, requiring they work longer hours, without overtime pay, and on weekends and bank holidays without compensation.

Revenues also fell after full-time undergraduate applications at the University of Liverpool dropped by 10 percent following the introduction of £9,000 tuition fees. Both Manchester Metropolitan and the University of Manchester have around 500 fewer students than in previous years and are facing funding cuts. The University of Bolton is similarly imposing 80 redundancies after falling student numbers caused £1 million in lost revenues, following similar redundancies last year when it lost 10 percent of its budget.

These cuts must be placed in the context of the wider strategy of the ruling elite to massively cut back the public education system and transform it into a major source of profit for the wealthy.

The UK spends less on its university system than every other developed nation but Japan, despite recent budget cuts totalling two-fifths by 2015. A further £400 million was cut from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills that oversees university funding, in last week’s government spending round. University spending is already facing a 40 percent cut by 2015.

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