UK: Thousands to lose university jobs as cuts bite

Universities across Britain are preparing to axe thousands of teaching jobs, close campuses and ditch courses to cope with government funding cuts, write Jessica Shepherd and Owen Bowcott for The Guardian. Other plans include using postgraduates rather than professors for teaching and the delay of major building projects. The proposals have already provoked ballots for industrial action at a number of universities in the past week raising fears of strike action that could severely disrupt lectures and examinations.

The Guardian spoke to vice-chancellors and other senior staff at 25 universities, some of whom condemned the funding squeeze as "painful" and "insidious". They warned that UK universities were being pushed towards becoming US-style quasi-privatised institutions.

The cuts are being put in place to cope with the recent announcement by the Higher Education Funding Council for England that 449 million pounds(US$703 million) - equivalent to more than a 5% reduction nationally - would be stripped out of university budgets. The University and College Union believes that more than 15,000 posts - the majority academic - could disappear in the next few years.
Full report on The Guardian site