A leading teaching union has launched a protest campaign after the University of the Arts in London announced job cuts.
Last week's protest was part of the University and College Union's (UCU) UK-wide 'Defend Jobs, Defend Education' campaign to prevent higher education institutions enforcing redundancies.
UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: “We have been warning for months of the potential damage unnecessary and swinging cuts would do to post-16 education. Universities and colleges need to understand that our members will not sit idly by while their jobs or those of colleagues are axed.
“The government may have said it would not let education become a victim of the recession, but those warm words look rather hollow when put up against the hard facts.”
The Journal reported earlier this month that journalist Lesley Abdela had cancelled a guest lecture at London Metropolitan University because of an academic boycott called by the UCU.
Commenting on the job cuts, a spokesperson from University of the Arts London spoke to The Journal: “Following a major review of London College of Communication’s (LCC) mission and course portfolio, and the need for the college to make significant savings to address a deficit of £1.3 million, an ambitious new strategic vision was launched this year.
“As a result of the review, 16 courses which could not develop within the new academic mission were identified for closure and 31 staff posts have been identified for compulsory redundancy.
"By focusing on its core strengths and subject areas, LCC is confident that it will strengthen its reputation as the sector leader in communication, media and design while ensuring that its resources are better directed to students and courses.”
The next universities likely to see protest action are Leeds university, currently planning to institute a 10 percent budget cut, and Manchester Metropolitan University, following their announcement of plans to axe 127 jobs.
Leeds university Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Arthur said: "We are taking action now to protect our university from cuts in public expenditure and from a turbulent economy.
"I believe that universities have a huge contribution to make in helping the UK out of the recession, but it is clear we will not be protected from the fallout from the downturn. We need to remain in control of our future and our finances."
According to UCU figures, as of the 6 November 1,318 job cuts have been made in an effort to cut costs, with a further 5,097 staff at risk.
The UCU have projected that job cuts of this proportion will affect 100,000 students.
The union’s report shows London to be the city at most risk, with most cuts taking place at universities in the capital.
London Metropolitan University has all been grey listed and faces continued campaign action.