London Metropolitan University cuts 400 jobs and closes two campuses

Union representatives say news of further job losses at the university are "devastating", but management insist London Metropolitan is in need of an overhaul

Rachael Pells
Wednesday 01 June 2016 11:22 BST
London Metropolitan University will reduce its staff numbers by 395 over the next two years
London Metropolitan University will reduce its staff numbers by 395 over the next two years (Dan Kitwood / Getty)

London Metropolitan University is to cut around 400 staff jobs and shut down two of its three campuses, its management have announced.

The news comes as part of a controversial £125m overhaul to redesign the institution’s Holloway Road campus and reduce all students and staff to one location over the next two years.

The proposed cuts come on top of 93 job losses announced earlier this year and will apply to 13.5 per cent of the total workforce.

Union members have described the news as “another devastating blow to the already ravaged London Met” and said the university’s focus on new campus investments fall at the expense of teaching and support staff.

University and College Union spokesperson Barry Jones said: “We will be making the case for an alternative approach during the forthcoming consultation based upon the maintenance of London Met's mission and we will continue to fight in the interests of the university's staff and students.”

London Metropolitan’s vice-chancellor John Raftery, who joined the university in August 2014, said the restructuring would help to secure the institution’s future, however.

“I think London Met has tremendous potential, but for too long it has not been fully realised,” he said.

He added that the university had faced “endless cost-saving exercises” because it had not been properly redesigned when it was formed through a merger in 2002.

“We’re bringing together departments from three different campuses and in different buildings all to one place in Islington. If you do that, you don’t need four libraries, you don’t need four finance officers and so on, many of those savings are liberated by convening together.”

Of the cuts, 224 will be clerical jobs, which includes areas such as student support; 159 professional roles will be axed, thought to be mainly academic positions and 12 managerial posts will be lost.

Last year, London Metropolitan staff staged industrial action in protest after management announced cuts to 165 academic and support post jobs.

The student population at London Metropolitan has fallen from 28,000 in the year it was founded, to 12,000 – a number the university plans to reduce by another 2,000 by the year 2017.

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