Stop Redundancies at the University of East Anglia
The University of East Anglia (UEA) is not only a vital ‘anchor institution’ in Norwich, it’s one of the most important in the Eastern region.
In mid-2023, the university announced said it needed to cut over £45 million from its annual budget, meaning over 100 job losses.
“It’s quite clear that there are questions for management now about how they handled this and why we are in a situation where we are at UEA when other comparable institutions are not facing the same crisis.”
I have been and will continue to be working with the University College Union and other unions to ensure redundancies do not take place at UEA.
Here are some of the actions I have taken.
Following the news that 86% of UEA’s academic cuts were to take place in one faculty, I put out a statement arguing that we need a plan to grow UEA, not cut it.
This is what I said:
“We knew this was coming a couple of weeks ago, but that won’t soften the blow for the 100+ UEA staff whose jobs are going and the hundreds of others denied a pay rise as prices and housing costs soar.
Support staff are being hit especially hard. Their jobs make up the vast majority of those that are being slashed and because the university has backtracked on bringing in the real living wage, they will face a substantial real terms pay cut.
Arts and humanities staff are bearing the brunt of academic cuts, with 31 of the 36 academic redundancies in those departments. The human cost of this is bad enough, but where’s the sense in taking the axe to two areas that UEA is most renowned and celebrated for?”
Read my full statement here.
Read more about UEA’s decision to cut its arts and humanities departments here.
Ahead of meeting the Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education, I was asked by Greatest Hits Radio Norfolk and North Suffolk on whether I believe the Government should intervene in the financial crisis at the University of East Anglia.
I told them that this is part of a broader picture:
“This will have a massive impact on research at The Norwich Research Park. It will have a massive impact on the teaching hospital at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
It will also have an impact on the economy and the Government’s Levelling-up agenda across the region, of which the University is a massive part. It will have a wider impact with fewer or no students coming in”.
“The Government need to help and find some support for the UEA because this will go against (their) objectives to invest in the East. So, there are lots of reasons why they should intervene and make sure the UEA is given that support to stay on its feet”.
Read the full article here.
After the resignation of UEA’s Vice-Chancellor, it was clear that the growing financial crisis at UEA could be a devastating blow to the Government’s levelling up agenda, to the regional economy, and to higher education and research.
I raised this in Parliament, and the Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education has agreed to meet with me to discuss this urgent matter.
Watch my question to the Minister here.
After posting a £13.9 million loss, UEA announced it was set to make compulsory redundancies.
This worrying announcement prompted me to offer my support to the local University and College Union (UCU).
Staff and unions have already prevented job losses and compulsory redundancies at other universities. I back the UCU and other unions at UEA in their attempts to do the same here.
Read my full response to this news here.