Universities are feeling the pinch this week with many institutions, including London's King's College and Queen Mary University, announcing large job cuts across multiple departments.
The Times Higher Education Supplement today reports that 205 jobs in 13 departments are at risk at King's, and goes on to say that all members of staff in the college's Humanities Department have been put on notice of redundancy. Meanwhile, London Student reports that a number of senior academics are to be made redundant.
The news follows huge job cuts in Imperial College's humanities department earlier in the year, which led to a student and staff protest outside the Faculty Building, and Imperial's proposal to cut 20% of academics in the Faculty of Medicine.
Thirty of King's College's job cuts will be in The School of Physical Sciences and Engineering, which is currently under threat of closure as King's intends to merge multiple faculties into a "School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics". Another thirty are in the Institute of Psychiatry. The reasons for the cuts are cited as poor Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) results and this week's university funding cuts.
A letter warning of the damage that the Humanities cuts could cause King's College has been sent by 26 academics at UCL, who say that the cuts "will succeed in the aim of making a once great institution manifestly mediocre". Meanwhile, a group of King's College London graduate students have also sent a letter to the college and a further letter damning the cuts has been signed by 309 academics worldwide.
Simon Gaskell, Principal of Queen Mary University, has suggested that there will be voluntary severance and early retirement offered to some members of staff in a letter sent on January 29th.
The University and College Union (UCU) says that there will be between 60 and 100 job losses, and believes that the letter sent by Queen Mary University implies that there will be forced redundancies. The UCU has also complained that by not consulting them of the proposed changes to staffing, Queen Mary has breached employment regulations.
Elsewhere in the country, 64% of staff voting in a UCU ballot to decide whether or not industrial action would be taken over a potential 700 job losses at Leeds University have voted in favour of a strike.
UCU General Secretary, Sally Hunt, said: "The bottom line is that serious job losses will impact massively on the institution's ability to function as a leading university in the region, let alone globally. The university should be working with us to oppose the government's savage cuts to higher education and must immediately put plans to axe 700 jobs on hold".
A total of 54 members of staff at Leeds University have already lost their jobs in a mammoth plan of spending cuts at the institution, which is looking to lower operating costs by £35million.
Meanwhile, at Bangor University over 100 jobs are at risk as a result of the announced university funding cuts. The proposed cuts are in linguistics, modern languages, religious studies and social sciences.
Arfon Liberal Democrat candidate, Sarah Green, said that the cuts "would have serious effects on the local economy and the consequences of job losses would be felt by everyone", as Bangor university is one of the top employers in the area.
Aston University in Birmingham also lost two senior members of staff last week: their Chief Operating Officer, Richard Middleton, and Head of Estates, Garry East.
Things aren't looking too good North of the border, with Edinburgh's Queen Margaret set to dismiss upto 20% off its 500-strong employee base and a loss of 40 members of staff in teacher training across the nation.
The devastating and far-reaching effects of the £449million university spending cuts are bringing calls for a reversal in the government's decision. However it looks as though in preparation for the cuts, the damage has already been done.