The front cover of The Daily Echo today revealed that The University of Southampton plan to axe 200 jobs in order to cope with newly imposed cuts. Yesterday, the HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England) announced a 0.4% reduction in university funding meaning that funding for the next academic year would fall by £361,000.
However, the University wasted no time in clarifying the issue, with chief operating officer Simon Higman reassuring the University community, via Sussed, that “No ‘axing’ is going to happen and while the ‘200’ figure is about right‚ we are talking about posts and not jobs”. It has been reported university staff may have to reapply for their jobs as part of a radical re-organisation of every school and faculty. However, Higman further explained “that distinction is important because we are going to take that number of posts out of the University over an 18 month period. During that time we expect that a number of people will leave the University because they find new jobs or retire, and the University will be running a voluntary severance scheme. We are making genuine efforts to ensure that we protect as many jobs as possible.”
In the face of well documented performance reviews of certain areas of the University, Higman is also told to have explained that, “changes in the make up of our staff will affect all parts of the University”.