Saturday, 3 April 2010

Confrontatrion Over Job Cuts At University

Government plans to save £1bn from the higher education funding budget will see job losses at Reading University's highly-regarded computer science, electronics and cybernetics, biology and chemistry departments.

The move is hoped to save £10.6m for the educational establishment, but staff have accused RU of "taking a wrecking ball to the sciences" as Reading faces the largest cuts in the country.

University Vice Chancellor Professor Tony Downes pointed out that many other universities were planning far higher numbers of job losses, arguing that "Research in science is a real strength of our University and we are determined that the savings needed will not undermine this."

University spokesperson Alex Brannen said the institution wants to protect research in areas of excellence such as Sytems Engineering, although signs are that this area has already begun to see staff losses as 'reshaping' begins.

In total Reading University will recieve grants of £30.54m for teaching and £18.26m for research. It will also receive £1.9m from the higher education innovation fund.

Tim Astin representing the University College Union was unimpressed.
"After the shambolic closure of the physics department in 2006 we hoped we had seen the last of cuts to vital subjects but it would appear that we were mistaken,"
adding that the "decision is another huge blow for staff and students from a management that has failed to give any coherent reasons for the cuts."

He concluded, "These plans make no sense whatsoever and will take away huge bodies of knowledge from the university."

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More on Reading University in Transition

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