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UCU condemns planned closure of Newcastle University's London campus

5 March 2021

UCU has today condemned Newcastle University's planned closure of its London campus.

Newcastle's London campus opened just six years ago, with staff recruited to work there promised it was an integral, permanent part of the university. University management told staff last November that they plan to close the campus in September 2021, and that the decision cannot be reversed. Dozens of jobs are at risk as a result, with just one category of staff, permanent higher education lecturers, having the option of relocating to the North East.  

Consultation is ongoing concerning the redundancy, retention and relocation package, with the process set to end on today. A large branch meeting of Newcastle University UCU voted in favour of considering industrial action if terms were not considered acceptable to  members at the London campus.  

UCU said that there is no justification for the closure of the London campus, adding that Newcastle University is in good financial health, with student intake increasing across the institution. The union highlighted that the move by management threatens dozens of jobs at the worst possible time, and called on Newcastle to reconsider.  

UCU Northern regional official Iain Owens said: 'There is no justification for the closure of Newcastle University's London campus. The university is in good financial health, as student intake for both the London campus and the wider institution has continued to rise. This decision, which management justify as part of a "change in business direction", threatens dozens of jobs. Permanent lecturers are being offered relocation, but other staff will simply face redundancy, and moving 300 miles is just not practical for many. For staff who have worked flat out during the pandemic, this decision could not have come at a worse time. The university must reconsider.'  

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