Manchester

University of Manchester denies job cuts 'due to Brexit'

University of Manchester Image copyright Google
Image caption More than 12,000 people work at the university

The University of Manchester has denied its decision to cut 171 posts is due to Brexit following claims by a union.

The university said the job losses were necessary for it to be a world-leading institution and would offer voluntary severance wherever possible.

But the University and College Union (UCU) said the university had said the cuts were due to "recent government policy changes and Brexit".

However a university spokesman said "Brexit is not the reason".

"These proposals are designed to improve the quality of our research and student experience in some areas and ensure the financial sustainability of the university," he added.

"Brexit and exchange rate fluctuations are features of the external environment in which all British universities and other organisations are operating at this present time."

'Planned growth'

He said cuts would be made to academic posts and support staff in the biology, medicine, health, business and humanities departments.

It is hoped compulsory redundancies would be avoided, he added.

"We have detailed plans for significant growth in funds from a range of activities, but we will also need to make cost savings."

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said the university had blamed the cuts on financial instability caused by "recent government policy changes and Brexit as an excuse to make short-term cuts that will cause long-term damage".

The UCU said the university's financial statement for the year ending July 2016 revealed it had reserves totalling £1.5bn.

More than 12,000 people work at the university, including almost 7,000 academic and research staff.

Union members are due to meet on Friday to hold talks about the proposed cuts.

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