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Taking action in higher education

Southampton University lecturers forced to mourn at graduation ceremony

20 July 2007 | last updated: 14 December 2015

Lecturers at Southampton University will be decked in black today at graduation ceremonies at Southampton University. Graduation day is usually a time for celebration, however this year lecturers will be protesting at the proposed job losses in the School of Health Professions and Rehabilitation Sciences (SoHPRs).

The protests are part of the 'save our school' campaign by the University and College Union (UCU). The protest will start at 2.30pm and at 4.30pm 250 balloons will be released to represent the number of staff and students who will be hit by the cuts.

During the afternoon lecturers will be asking students and parents to support the campaign by signing a petition opposing the cuts and to write to the minister for the department of innovation, universities and skills, John Denham – a former president of Southampton University Union of Students.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: "Southampton University has a proud record of excellent health professionals that graduates every year. This year those celebrations will be marred by the unnecessary cuts and job losses affecting the school. We have seen unnecessary cuts in health education in the past, which led to shortages and problems for the health service. I am amazed we haven't learnt the lessons from mistakes in the past.

Dr David Wheatley, president of University of Southampton UCU said: "It beggars belief that lecturers who have helped these students achieve outstanding degree results today are being told that they will be sacked by Christmas. One lecturer was due to receive a special award from the vice-chancellor for outstanding contribution to the work of the School. On Monday she was told that she was to be sacked. She feels so upset she is unable to attend what for her would have been a real recognition of her work. It is outrageous".