University lecturers will vote this week on whether to boycott Goldsmith's College, in New Cross, south-east London, over plans to sack eight teaching staff.

Action was demanded after Goldsmith's told lecturers in the European languages and education departments they would be made redundant at the end of this term.

A motion is expected to go before the Association of University Teachers national council on Thursday. If agreed by a ballot, members of the AUT and associated unions would not apply for job vacancies and academics would stop holding or attending conferences there. Other lecturers would also refuse to act as external examiners.

The college, which blames the move on grant cuts by the Higher Education Funding Council, had planned to make 11 staff redundant but rescinded one notice after two people volunteered to leave.

A spokeswoman said the college faces a deficit of pounds 700,000 unless such action is taken.

But the AUT, which represents 5,500 lecturers in London, claims the measures are 'inhumane, shambolic and unnessary'. London regional officia Malcolm Keight said: 'The boycott will hit Goldsmith's where it hurts - financially.