Brum goes Pounds 1m in red

January 24, 1997

THE UNIVERSITY of Birmingham has a Pounds 1 million projected deficit for next year and is planning up to 15 job cuts, but no top-up fees.

Its prospectus has gone to the printers without the "health warning" of fees to come. Instead the university is embarking on cost-cutting. All staff over the age of 50 have been offered early retirement and the faculty division of the academic secretary's office will close. Centralising for the seven faculties and the senior faculty administrators posts will go to save an estimated Pounds 300,000.

Chris Wickam, AUT representative and history professor, said: "Five of the seven grade-five faculty administration heads have been told that there is no space for them. We are hoping to avoid compulsory redundancies, which Birmingham has never engaged in, but we are very worried that the early retirement packages are extremely ungenerous."

A university spokesman said; "The Budget settlement last year means that this university is projecting a deficit. The review has been made in that context."

The university has a small surplus now, but expects a deficit next year. The AUT said the university's debt predictions are designed to create a climate of fear so that "unpalatable things can be done with a ready excuse".

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