Roehampton University's senior management announced their plans to put 226 members of staff at risk of redundancy, and close down and make cuts to multiple programmes. These programmes include, but are not limited to: Anthropology, Classical Civilisation, Creative Writing, Philosophy, Dance, and Play Therapy. They justify this by stating their commitment to graduate prospects in regards to employability. These plans were announced a week after the University used our lecturers' research papers to get an outstanding score on the REF annual funding body, which they proudly advertise on their website, despite plans to make those same academics redundant.
We oppose these changes as they will do irreparable harm to the University of Roehampton as well as to its students and staff.
- There is currently no clarity on how the teaching quality of the courses can be maintained for current students with their lecturers gone.
- Accepted Masters students won't know for nearly 2 more months if their course will be running in September.
- PhD students will suffer if they lose their supervisor, as their specific expertise is essential to the success of a students' project.
- Members of staff are forced to compete against their colleagues for the few positions that will be left in a 'fire and re-hire' scheme, which is not an option for part-time staff.
- Incoming students are not being made aware of these changes and will end up making their decision to study at Roehampton based on incomplete information.
Roehampton has been successful in providing access to Arts, Humanities, and Social Science courses to students of all backgrounds, all of which have been widely recognised for their outstanding research in recent years. Closing down these courses would be a great loss of access to education, and so we call on the Senior Management of the university to reconsider these plans and allow our lecturers to continue educating students in these fields.