Two Welsh colleges are to make the biggest set of compulsory redundancies in British higher education this year. Up to 20 lecturers and the same number of technical and support staff could lose their jobs at the University of Wales College Newport and another 15 lecturers are to go at the University of Wales Institute Cardiff.
At Newport, the number of compulsory redundancies for lecturers has been halved from 40, with around 20 accepting voluntary severance. Natfhe officials hope another voluntary redundancy trawl will bring compulsory losses down to at most 15.
The college is facing a deficit of nearly Pounds 1 million. The financial problems arose after last November's budget. The college had not been able to build up reserves since its incorporation in 1992. The built environment department is to take the brunt of the cuts. It stopped recruiting for built environment courses this year.
At the University of Wales Institute Cardiff job losses are being made in the engineering and printing departments as part of a plan to redesign courses. Brian Williams, the deputy principal, said this reflected falling demand for training in traditional engineering and printing techniques and a need for the college to recruit new blood.
But Phil Thomas, Natfhe's regional official for Wales, said the institute was "awash with money and reserves" and warned that any compulsory redundancies were likely to result in industrial action.