South East Wales

139 jobs cut at University of South Wales' campuses

Cardiff Campus Image copyright Google Maps

Up to 139 jobs could go at University of South Wales as it tries to balance rising costs with an anticipated reduction in students due to Brexit.

Staff across all departments in Treforest, Newport and Cardiff are affected by the proposed redundancies.

The cuts represent a 4.6% cut in the 3,005 workforce at Wales' second biggest university.

The university said the cuts were necessary because its costs were rising but its income was remaining the same.

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Media captionUnison official Angela Lewis claimed frontline staff had been affected by cuts last year
Image copyright South Wales University
Image caption Roles will be cut at USW's Newport City campus

The university is not giving a breakdown of how many staff in each area will be affected.

The university's student recruitment from European Union countries is above average for UK universities and it expects overseas recruitment to fall following the UK's decision to leave the EU.

A university spokesman said USW was "sustainable and financially sound".

Part of USW vice-chancellor Julie Lydon's email to all university staff

"Perceptions matter. The majority of people in our country do not see international students as immigrants, but even before Brexit the UK had a problem in the impression being given to them.

"This remains an issue for debate, not least at the highest levels of government. As USW, and in concert with our fellow universities, we will continue to press for the real benefit that international students bring to be recognised, harnessed, and grown.

"For us, Brexit brings opportunities and it brings uncertainty. Before the vote we were already seeking to develop further in an unprecedentedly volatile environment.

"You will know that the domestic student market for 'home' students is shrinking: a number of factors are at play including demographic reductions in 18-year-olds and a changing UK jobs market.

"You'll also be aware that our competition has never been fiercer.

"We have never been a university that is content to stand still and unchanged, and as well as making sure we're right as an organisation we will need every ounce of enterprise to develop new opportunities at home and overseas."

Image copyright Google Maps
Image caption The Treforest campus near Pontypridd

The university spokesman added: "Although we've broadly maintained our UK student numbers, we're in a market where the overall number of people going to university is reducing, and recruitment from overseas will be affected by Brexit.

"Like many universities, our costs are rising by over 3% a year while our income is staying the same.

"It means we can't preserve structures and staff headcount in aspic because, if we did this, the university would, over time, lose its stable financial position."

USW was formed from a merger of University of Glamorgan and University of Wales Newport in 2013, prompting job concerns by union leaders.

The university said it was consulting with unions and managers and voluntary redundancies would be considered.

USW group Unison branch secretary Dan Beard said: "The union will robustly defend our members' interests and will be consulting them once the full facts of the proposals are disclosed to consider the next steps that may be necessary."

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