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University Picket

Strike threat at University of Wolverhampton over 146 course cull

31 May 2022

UCU has declared a dispute with the University of Wolverhampton and said today that it will be left with no choice but to ballot staff for strike action if the university pushes ahead with plans to suspend student recruitment onto 146 courses.

Earlier this month UCU wrote to the university's interim vice chancellor Professor Ian Campbell explaining that the university could face legal action as the course closures are likely to result in more than 20 redundancies. This means the university has a statutory duty to consult with UCU as the recognised trade union, but it has so far failed to do so. The university has not responded to concerns raised in correspondence from UCU and last week cancelled a meeting with the union that had been in the diary for almost a year. It also cancelled a meeting of the board of governors.

The suspension of 146 courses would see significant numbers of staff losing their jobs  and have a devastating impact on current and future students as well as the local community. The majority of the courses under threat are in performing arts, fashion, social sciences, interior design and fine art.

UCU regional official Anne O'Sullivan said: 'If management at the University of Wolverhampton continues to refuse to meet with us, UCU will have no choice but to ballot staff to take strike action. Unfortunately, vice chancellor Ian Campbell appears to be hiding in a bunker rather than facing the scrutiny that this attempted act of academic arson demands.

'The culling of 146 courses would be devastating to current students and see their lecturers facing redundancy. It would also have a profound impact on the local area and future students as the courses on offer shrinks dramatically, with arts and humanities all but disappearing. Management urgently needs to change course.'

Last updated: 31 May 2022