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Jobs cut despite increase in applications for medical courses at Queen Mary

4 November 2011

UCU today criticised Queen Mary, University of London after it announced plans to axe around 140 jobs, despite a 27% increase in applications to medical courses at the university.

Queen Mary, University of London (QMUL) is looking to make 43 permanent staff redundant at the university's school of medicine and dentistry as part of a cost-cutting exercise that could also see the loss of 96 research, teaching and support staff.
The union said the cuts would have a devastating effect on healthcare training at the university and would put world-leading medical research at risk. UCU accused the university of using the current funding difficulties in higher education as an excuse to make the cuts and said it failed to see the logic behind the plans after recent figures revealed a 27% increase in applications for QMUL's five-year medicine course.
UCU joined UNISON, whose members are also at risk from the cuts, in criticising the suspension of UNISON member Vik Chechi, who the unions believe has been unfairly victimised for leading the opposition to the cuts.
A UCU spokesperson at QMUL said: 'These cuts are endangering the education of the next generation of NHS doctors and also threaten to undermine world-leading medical research. At a time when our medical courses are in such demand it makes little sense to push forward with these punitive cuts.
'We understand the current funding pressures in higher education but are not willing to stand by while our members' jobs, students' education, the health service and leading research is at risk. Instead of suspending union members the university should be working with us to find alternative savings.'
Last updated: 11 December 2015