Threat to 2,000 research jobs

July 19, 2002

Up to 2,000 research jobs across the UK are under threat despite an injection of cash in this week's spending review, the Association of University Teachers has said.

Cuts will go ahead in the autumn despite the extra £244 million for recurrent spending on research announced in this week's spending review. This cash may not be available until 2005-06.

A statement on recurrent funding for 2003-04 and 2004-05 is expected next week. But, as the government has ruled out retrospective funding of the research assessment exercise, universities will be left short in 2002-03.

The cuts to research affect 35 universities. This compares with the three new universities where lecturers' union Natfhe says there will be significant job losses because of low student demand.

Sally Hunt, general secretary of the AUT, said: "It is shocking. You don't just get rid of this level of academic staff and say that resolves it until a year's time. It does not work like that. It's crisis time."

Medicine has been particularly hard hit by the failure to fully fund the results of the RAE.

At Queen Mary, University of London, up to 100 jobs are under threat. At King's College London, up to 250 jobs could be shed.

40 JOBS TO GO...WHAT IS IT YOU DO?

Jim Archer, a senior lecturer, has worked at Barts and the Royal London Hospital Medical and Dental School, part of Queen Mary, University of London, for 22 years.

He said: "We have had to list the things we have been doing. The redundancy committee will select posts that will go - they're talking about 40. It is meant to be anonymous, but how can it be when we have to list teaching and research?

"As I understand it, the government is using the RAE to stop research at a lot of places. I am angry with the government and the college, which spent huge amounts preparing for the RAE."

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