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Protests at University of Gloucestershire over job cull row

20 January 2010 | last updated: 11 December 2015

Protestors at the University of Gloucestershire will tomorrow call on the university to abandon plans for redundancies and course closures.

The university has announced plans to close its Pittville campus in Cheltenham and its London campus and to axe 16 jobs at its Francis Close Hall site.
Protest at the University of Gloucestershire, 21 Jan 10 UCU members protesting against job cuts Staff and students will join forces for a special lobby outside the institution's Fulwood House building from 9am. UCU, which is leading the protests, has timed the demonstration to coincide with the arrival of the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) who is on campus to meet with university officials.
UCU has blamed poor management for the decision by the university to close campuses in Cheltenham and London and to cut up to 16 jobs at its Francis Close Hall site. The university's vice-chancellor, Professor Patricia Broadfoot, said recently that the university could not continue to afford a high ratio of staffing in the current and future climate and as a result some difficult but necessary decisions have to be taken. However, the union argues that her comments come up short when put against the facts. The University of Gloucestershire has 18.7 students to every member of staff and the sector average is 17.49*.
UCU warned that the closure of the Pittville and London campuses could lead to the withdrawal of key services from the local communities. The Pittville campus in Cheltenham - currently home to the university's Faculty of Media, Art and Communications - will now shut by the end of 2011 and the university has said that it will sell its London campus.
University of Gloucestershire UCU chair, Gwen Chaney, said: 'It is essential that the QAA is made aware of the full nature of the cuts and the damage they will do here at the University of Gloucestershire. Hard-working staff should not be made to pay for bad decisions on behalf of management.
'It is essential that everything is done to minimise the impact of any job losses and to ensure that our current and future students are not affected. Wholesale cuts to the workforce are not in the interests of the university, students or the local community.'
* Professor Broadfoot on future plans for the university | Student:staff ratios from the Independent