Restructuring round-up

February 21, 2008

A pioneering educational research body at the University of Glasgow is facing the threat of closure.

The Scottish Council for Research in Education Centre (SCRE) was founded in 1928 but has recently been in financial difficulty.

Plans to close the centre and make its staff redundant were put before the university court early in December but were withdrawn after objections from the University and College Union about a lack of proper consultation.

The university said it had "been disappointed in the volume of business that has been generated by SCRE". A new plan for its future will be reviewed in March.

Glasgow has also launched a review of modern languages, raising fears that the teaching of German could be cut back. In the decade to 2007 there was an overall decline of nearly 20 per cent in UK institutions providing French, German or Italian undergraduate degrees.

The university said that its court "has asked that action be taken to improve the financial position of the German section. Options for achieving this are currently being considered."

Oxford Brookes University is cutting 10 per cent of jobs in its Westminster Institute of Education. Between 12 and 14 full-time posts are to go.

Managers informed staff last year that the school was facing a £750,000 deficit, in part because of government cutbacks in funding for teacher education.

The university predicts that it will have 120 fewer full-time-equivalent students on initial teacher training next year, and it expects a reduction in the number of teachers taking courses for continual professional development.

The University and College Union said that any compulsory redundancies would be met with a ballot for industrial action.

Lecturers were due to go on strike at Keele University in protest against threatened jobs cuts in the School of Economic and Management Studies, as Times Higher Education went to press.

The University and College Union said that members of the school would hold a one-day strike on 21 February, while all UCU members would participate in action short of a strike, including a boycott of quality audits and open days.

The UCU has said that more than half the academic staff in the school - 38 of 67 lecturers - face redundancy.

The university said the proposed restructure "creates a configuration that is appropriate for purpose, reflects market demand and establishes the school both academically and financially".

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