University job cuts ‘outstripped financial hit’ – Study

Australian university job losses during the pandemic were not always justified by the financial situation, research has found, with casuals disproportionately cut back and overall job cuts exceeding dollar losses, writes Jenny Sinclair for Research Professional News.

Frank Larkins, from the Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Melbourne, wrote in a paper on 9 May that it was “evident that many universities assessed the financial risks associated with the pandemic to be greater than the actual outcomes”. In some cases, the pandemic and changes to student fee structures were used as an “opportunity” for unrelated restructuring, he wrote.

Larkins analysed all Australian universities’ financial results and their staffing level changes from 2019 to 2021. He found an average 4.5% decline in universities’ financial positions, while full-time-equivalent staff numbers were reduced by an average of 8.1%. But 30% of casual hours were cut.
Full report on the Research Professional News site