On 8 October, hundreds of students and lecturers gathered outside Leeds university library to protest at the latest wave of cuts announced the day before by the university vice-chancellor. Lecturers burned their redundancy warning letters.
Sean Clothier, Leeds Uni Socialist Students
The university intends to make savings of around £35 million a year. The lecturers’ union, UCU, says this will result in around 400 job losses, with biological sciences taking the hardest hit.
The university says it needs to make savings to protect itself from severe financial pressure in the future and that the scale of job reduction is not known but it will be “significant”.
At the same time the university boasts about having a £380 million building programme, aiming to be in the top 50 of universities worldwide and of having made a budget surplus of £13.9 million this year.
It’s one rule for students and lecturers and another for the top echelons of the university, which include vice-chancellor Michael Arthur – 20th highest paid in the country – on £244,000 a year according to the Yorkshire Evening Post.
The mood on the demonstration was positive, with one student suggesting that if a strike takes place a student-led occupation of the Uni will follow.