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University cuts must be fought

On 23rd July, Queen’s University’s (QUB) senate met and agreed an academic plan for the next five years which will see 103 staff being made redundant. The most dramatic effect of the cuts will be the closure of the German department, but all the university’s schools will be effected in some way.

These cuts come despite QUB actually receiving an increase in funding of 2% for teaching and learning and 7.7% for research. The university management wish to shift the emphasis away from frontline teaching and local-oriented research towards international research, which lends more status within the prestigious Russell Group. Their stated aim is to make Queen’s one of the top 100 universities in the world within the next 5 years. The idea that this can be achieved while cutting staff and resources is entirely false.

PCS – a strategy to stop the cuts

The PCS civil servants union’s national executive committee (NEC) has met to discuss how to respond to the Tory/Liberal coalition government’s cuts and privatisation programme.

Announcements of cuts of up to 25% in government departmental budgets were rapidly followed by instructions to plan on the basis of 40% cuts.