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REVEALED: What Cuts Could Be Coming To Your School? Read Our Full Breakdown

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This evening, students have been emailed a breakdown of proposed cuts relating to their schools.

These business cases provide an overview of the proposed changes, which can range from simply changing targets and restructuring degree programmes, all the way up to staff redundancies.

Business cases also discuss the rationale for decisions, what other options were considered, and who will it affect.

Seren has collated the key information from business cases for all the schools likely to be affected by these proposed plans. In this article, we are highlighting the cuts which could be enacted.

However, Seren strongly encourages you to read the full business case sent to your University email.

Please note, these plans are proposed and under consultation – they could still yet change.

KEY TERMS:

FTE – Full Time Equivalent (Indicates Workload Hours – E.g. 1 FTE could be a full-time member of staff working 40 hours weekly

Professorial Staff – Scholars with doctorate degrees (typically Ph.D. degrees) or equivalent qualifications.

T&R/T&S – Teaching and Research/Teaching and Scholarship related staff.

 

Chemistry

Proposed Main Changes:

  • Discontinue single honours chemistry and teach out the remaining students via a phased reduction of staff.

Rationale:

  • The scale of the savings needed are such that focus must be turned to no longer supporting teaching and research in a whole subject area. This approach also mitigates the risks by ensuring that only a limited area of the College is affected and will also reduce demand on Professional Services.
  • The Chemistry provision within the School of Natural Sciences (SNS) provides a suite of Royal Society of Chemistry accredited Chemistry courses that have struggled to recruit undergraduate students.
  • Recruitment in Bangor is severally hampered by the poor state of repair of the Alun Roberts building and the lack of niche areas of excellence or expertise that can easily be exploited to aid recruitment.

When:

  • A formal consultation period will take place with a view to implementation from the beginning of the next academic year (e.g. 1st August 2019). The formal consultation closes on 18 January 2019.
  • Current students enrolled on single honours undergraduate Chemistry courses and PhD programmes will complete their studies, the whole process will take 3 years to implement.

 

Bangor Business School

Proposed Main Changes:

  • Rationalise a number of programmes and modules including changing a number of modules to 20 credits.
  • Reduce number of professorial level staff by up to 3 FTE over the next three years and not recruit to vacant posts for the time being. Keep 2 x 0.6 FTE temporary lecturing staff up until end of academic year 2019/20.

Rationale:

  • Reductions can be made at professorial level with minimum little impact on course delivery.
  • The School recognises that home/EU numbers of undergraduate have declined in recent years despite some uplift in 2017-18.

When:

  • A consultation exercise will be conducted with a view to reaching an agreement on the required changes. A detailed Implementation Plan and timescale will be developed after the new structures, and any subsequent amendments, are approved by The Executive.

 

Law

Proposed Main Changes:

  • Loss of 3 FTE posts and some reduction in the part-time staffing costs in the longer term.
  • A small number of optional modules will be discontinued from 2020, largely in the LLM programme (Postgrad) and certainly less than 5. No modules in the LLB (Undergrad) will be discontinued. Students taking any of the discontinued modules will require “teaching out” which means that 2 FTE posts must be retained until at least end of December 2020.

Rationale:

  • Due to decline in student recruitment, Law will be brought in line with the student:staff ratio guidelines adopted by the University (sector upper quartile +1 in this case).
  • At undergraduate level, the domestic UK undergraduate market is under severe pressure, and while it has recruited relative well this year compared to other BU Schools, that is against an intensively competitive domestic environment.
  • Significant measures now need to be taken in order to assure the future of the School by moving to more legal practice skills-based delivery of the LLB, with less academic content, and will require the recruitment of one / two new members of staff familiar with the skills needed for domestic legal practice in order to compete with other Law Schools.

When:

  • A consultation exercise will be conducted with a view to reaching an agreement on the required changes. A detailed Implementation Plan and timescale will be developed after the new structures, and any subsequent amendments, are approved by The Executive.

 

Music & Media

Proposed Main Changes:

  • A loss of 1 FTE staff in Music at professorial level and 2 FTE staff in Music at lecturer level. There will an increase of 0.2 FTE T&S lecturer level (total staff reduction of 2.8 FTE).
  • Refocusing the whole School towards creative activity. This could enable a further staff reduction of 1.0 FTE at professorial level.
  • English-language writing as a discipline (including Creative Writing) can be moved entirely to LLL (School of Languages, Literatures & Linguistics), with the exception of Screenwriting. This could result in a reduction of 1.45 FTE in Music & Media.

Rationale:

  • Student recruitment in Music in the Home/EU market has been in decline for the last 4-5 years.
  • Creative Studies declined from 91 in 2016/17 down to 76 in 2018/19 (-17%), while Music declined from 38 in 2016/17 down to 22 in 2018/19 (-42%), despite some growth (to 46) experienced in 2017/18.
  • This business case also seeks to bring Music in to line with the student:staff ratio guidelines adopted by the University (sector upper quartile +1 in this case).

When:

  • A consultation exercise will be conducted with a view to reaching an agreement on the required changes. A detailed Implementation Plan and timescale will be developed after the new structures, and any subsequent amendments, are approved by The Executive.

 

Languages, Literature & Linguistics

Proposed Main Changes:

  • English Lit & Creative Writing: Loss of 1.5 FTE staff over the course of the 2018-19 financial year, and a further 0.6 FTE Grade 10 in 2019-20, will be replaced by a 0.6 FTE T&S lecturer in Creative Writing and a 0.4 FTE T&S lecturer in English Literature. Professional Writing programme, currently based in Music and Media, comes over to the School.
  • Modern Languages & Cultures: A loss of 1 FTE by end of 2022. No immediate plans to replace Chinese lecturer.
  • Linguistics and English Language: No plans to replace Forensic Linguistics lecturer.

Rationale:

  • The proposed move of Professional Writing to LLL will ensure that all provision relating to Creative and Professional Writing lies in one school, so avoiding confusion for current and future students.
  • Recruitment of Home/EU undergraduate students has been volatile over recent years.
  • At the end of 2017/18 academic year (according to HESA returns), there was a staff:student ratio of 1:23 in English Literature and Creative Writing; of 1:19 in Linguistics and English Language; and of 1:14 in Modern Languages and Cultures.

When:

  • Formal consultation will be undertaken in accordance with the relevant University HR Policies and Procedures and implementation timescale.

 

History, Philosophy & Social Sciences

Proposed Main Changes:

  • Introduce politics degree. Research indicates there growing interest in this subject area. At least one political science specialist will need to be recruited for 2021/22.
  • A loss of up to 2.5 FTE posts can be identified mainly in the area of Social Sciences.
  • Redistribution of staff to ensure that Criminology is in a strong position to be able to deliver the new flagship Apprenticeship Degree Programme.

Rationale:

  • Student recruitment in History has been in decline for the last 4-5 years.
  • Whilst recruitment for Social Sciences and Philosophy & Religion has been steadier, the outlook in the UK market does not look encouraging in the near future e.g. last year applications were down and they are less again compared to this time last year).

When:

  • A consultation exercise will be conducted with a view to reaching an agreement on the required changes. A detailed Implementation Plan and timescale will be developed after the new structures, and any subsequent amendments, are approved by The Executive.

 

Education and Human Development

Proposed Main Changes:

  • Reducing the number of FTE by 4 by 2019-20 with another 4.5FTE by 2020-21 in the areas of: Zero hour contracts, Masters teaching, Childhood Studies and Teacher Education.
  • Re-profile from Teaching and Scholarship posts to Teaching and Research in Childhood Studies, Masters and Teacher Education, along with increasing the FTE (.6) in strategic areas.

Rationale:

  • Moving forward, funding calls now require multi-disciplinary teams to address specific health, economic and social problems, and often require explicit statements of ‘pathways to impact’.
  • £1.61M staff-cost saving has been apportioned to the College of Human Sciences. There is a tension for us to make the required FTE cut whilst maintaining required curricula and student/staff ratios, delivering bilingual provision and being able to prepare a competitive REF2021 submission.

When:

  • A consultation exercise will be conducted with a view to reaching an agreement on the required changes. A detailed Implementation Plan and timescale will be developed after the new structures, and any subsequent amendments, are approved by The Executive.

 

Medical Sciences

Proposed Main Changes:

  • Reduction of SL T&R (grade 9) staffing compliment by 1 FTE, and re-profile job descriptions to rebalance teaching contribution element.
  • Reduction of its clinical academic staffing by 0.2 FTE in areas that is not considered as ‘core’ within our current UG/PGT and PGR offering.

Rationale:

  • Moving forward, funding calls now require multi-disciplinary teams to address specific health, economic and social problems, and often require explicit statements of ‘pathways to impact’.
  • £1.61M staff-cost saving has been apportioned to the College of Human Sciences. There is a tension for us to make the required FTE cut whilst maintaining required curricula and student/staff ratios, delivering bilingual provision and being able to prepare a competitive REF2021 submission.

When:

  • A consultation exercise will be conducted with a view to reaching an agreement on the required changes. A detailed Implementation Plan and timescale will be developed after the new structures, and any subsequent amendments, are approved by The Executive.

 

Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences

Proposed Main Changes:

  • Specifically, in 19/20: Remove 1.0 FTE research only posts (0.5 x RPSO Sport & Exercise Science; 0.5 x Research Professor, Sport Psychology); change 2.0 FTE Physiology posts from Teaching and Research contracts to Teaching and Scholarship contracts.
  • In 20/21: Remove 1.0 FTE Sport Psychology Lecturer post and remove 0.5 FTE technical support.
  • In 21/22: Remove 0.2 FTE research only post and remove 1.0 FTE Academic Related post.

Rationale:

  • The proposed change will allow the School to meet the University’s definition of a sustainable School in terms of Student Staff Ratio. The proposed pay savings are strategically chosen to minimise the threat to our mission to develop the future of sport science.
  • The proposed cuts will also minimise disrupting future plans to maximise recruitment; embed employability and work placements within the School’s curriculum.

When:

  • A detailed implementation plan and timescale will be developed in conjunction with the relevant Trades Unions after the proposed change is approved.
  • Theoretically, this business case sets out for cuts to start as soon as 2019/20.

 

Health Sciences

Proposed Main Changes:

  • To make an indicative saving of £775K by 21/22 (equating to approximately 8.7 FTE).
  • A 0.5FTE reduction in learning disability and a 1 FTE reduction in posts supported by the non-professional undergraduate programmes (BA health and social and BSc health and wellbeing).

Rationale:

  • Moving forward, funding calls now require multi-disciplinary teams to address specific health, economic and social problems, and often require explicit statements of ‘pathways to impact’.
  • £1.61M staff-cost saving has been apportioned to the College of Human Sciences. There is a tension for us to make the required FTE cut whilst maintaining required curricula and student/staff ratios, delivering bilingual provision and being able to prepare a competitive REF2021 submission.

When:

  • The changes associated with vacant research posts will generate savings which are immediate. Changes to learning disability nursing and non-professional award bearing programmes will be implemented in time for the 2019/20 academic year to ensure that clear plans for programme delivery are established.
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Finnian Shardlow

Editor 2018-19 Deputy Editor 2017-18 Music Editor 2015-17

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  1. Pingback: Are the Staff Redundancies Necessary? – Bangor Student News

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