22 May 2014
120 jobs at risk at King’s College London as £400m is spent on buildings
King’s is looking to reduce academic costs in the health schools by 10%, putting 120 jobs under threat in the Schools of Medicine, Biomedical Sciences and the Institute of Psychiatry.
The College intends to rank academics on the basis of their research grant income and teaching hours and to issue notices of dismissal by 8 August. No prior consultation has taken place with students or staff, who have been offered only the legal minimum of 45 days to contest the proposals.
Academic redundancies have also been announced in the Department of Education and Professional Studies. The union fears that the decision to help fund capital investment projects through cuts to teaching and research could lead to further job cuts across the College.
UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: “A world-class higher education institution should make respect for students and investment in staff a priority. King’s, however, has chosen to prioritise buildings over staff.
“Students have made it clear they want to see more investment in teaching. King’s approach makes no sense if it results in cuts to academic staff, putting further pressure on workloads and downgrading the student experience.”
A report released today shows that students want to see far greater investment in teaching. When asked about their top three priorities for institutional expenditure, 48% of undergraduates chose ‘reducing fee levels’ (55% for first and second years in England). The next four priorities are more teaching hours (35%); smaller class sizes (35%); better training for lecturers (34%); and better learning facilities (34%).