South East Wales

University of South Wales 'minimises' job losses

Newport campus Image copyright South Wales University
Image caption The university has three campuses, including in Newport

Potential job cuts at the University of South Wales have been reduced from 139 to 57 after a consultation.

Wales' second biggest university outlined job losses in March as it tried to balance rising costs with an expected drop in students.

It has 30,000 students, 3,005 staff and campuses in Treforest, Newport and Cardiff.

"We've done our best to avoid and minimise compulsory redundancies," a spokesman said.

The university said there has been a UK-wide shrinking market, with fewer students looking to go to university, together with uncertainty affecting recruitment of overseas students.

"We've engaged across USW and carefully assessed more than 470 responses from colleagues and student union representatives," the spokesman said.

"We've listened and changed key elements of the original proposals, particularly protecting our students' experience and their learning and teaching."

Image copyright Google Maps
Image caption The Treforest campus is based near Pontypridd

It said it has also been able to ensure its nursery would not close.

"Through our voluntary scheme and changes to the proposals, the number of potential redundancies has now reduced by more than half to 57," said the spokesman.

"Although this now represents only 1.9% of the university's staff and the changes are necessary to ensure USW continues investing in its future, we remain very mindful of what it means for the individual colleagues affected."

Five Welsh universities have now announced reviews of their operations.

University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Aberystwyth, Bangor and Cardiff Met are all seeking to make changes, though not all have announced plans for job losses.

Some have blamed Brexit, others a fall in the number of 18 year olds applying for places.

Cardiff Met has said an anticipated rise in salaries was another factor in its review.

The Unison union has called on the Welsh Government to consider intervening in the sector to protect Higher Education in Wales.

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