Wolverhampton to cut up to 250 jobs

Data inaccuracies push institution’s debt to more than £8 million. Melanie Newman reports

August 3, 2009

The University of Wolverhampton will cut up to 250 jobs after the Higher Education Funding Council for England demanded that it repay £3.5 million. An audit by Hefce uncovered inaccuracies in the university’s student-data returns.

A university document states: “The financial outturn for 2008-09 is expected to be a deficit of £4.8 million on the university’s recurrent business. In addition, it is estimated that a payment of £3.5 million will have to be made to Hefce in relation to the Higher Education Statistics Agency audit of 2008-09, increasing the deficit to £8.3 million.”

In a statement, Wolverhampton says it needs to make savings of £8 million due to rising pay costs, a change to funding methodologies, a cap on growth and the efficiency savings required by the Government.

“We need to make £8 million savings and estimate about 250 posts (subject to consultations with unions) need to be lost,” it says.

“We will do all we can to achieve the redundancies through a voluntary programme.”

The statement adds that Wolverhampton is “repositioning” itself to become more business-facing.

A University and College Union spokesman said that union members were unhappy that Wolverhampton had not offered any alternative suggestions to save money.

“We want to see formal notification of the Hefce holdback requirement before we will accept that this is necessary,” he added.

melanie.newman@tsleducation.com

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