Universities to cut thousands of academics on short contracts

Universities in the United Kingdom have dropped hundreds of hourly posts and left temporary contracts to expire, leaving academics facing unemployment and depleting the capacity of departments to run courses and support students, reports the Financial Times.

Universities are expecting a sharp drop in income as the number of foreign students falls owing to the pandemic. The Institute for Fiscal Studies estimates the sector could lose anywhere between 7.5% to half of its yearly income over the next four years, and warned that institutions were unlikely to “claw back” those losses without making redundancies.

But academics and unions warn that cuts to the temporary workforce will reduce the quality of teaching and significantly add to the workloads of other staff members. They also point out that temporary workers – many of whom are young and tech-savvy – proved essential in setting up online learning during lockdown.
Full report on the Financial Times site