University Response to Independent Interview

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The Wessex Scene reported last week on the Vice-Chancellor’s interview with The Independent, which quoted the Vice-Chancellor saying that further courses will be cut at the University of Southampton, within the areas of social science and the humanities.

While there has been speculation that the reporter took comments from Professor Donald Nutbeam out of context, we can now show a statement from the University commenting on the article.

“We are very pleased that the Vice-Chancellor has had an opportunity to set out his ambitions and direction for the University of Southampton in the national media. He has broadly reinforced the key messages that he has delivered across the University over the last few months.

“He highlights the UK government’s public sector debt and that the whole of higher education has been made aware of cuts to funding. Although this is uncomfortable it means that all universities are currently reviewing their activities and this includes the University of Southampton. As he said, “Our goal is clearly to be a top 10 UK university, which means we have to achieve a step change in our research.”

““Where we are not attaining excellence…we will be commencing processes that will lead to us withdrawing from two or three quite significant areas of activity.”

“This will be a carefully structured and rigorous process from which recommendations are principally discussed within the University. The Vice-Chancellor would not choose the national press to make any advance announcements regarding the future of academic departments.

“The feature writer has drawn her own conclusions from the interview and chosen two academic departments to create a stronger story.”

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