Universities across the UK may be seeing strikes in the midst of the market revolution taking place.
Struggles At Universities
Many colleges and polytechnics across the UK may be seeing strikes in their near future, as the market crisis are causing some campuses to close and students & staff to be uncertain of their future.
Manchester Metropolitan University, the main institution in south Cheshire that offers higher education, has announced in February that it will be closing in 2019. This puts around 160 jobs at risk, which has caused staff to plan a two-day strike against the university this week. One senior academic described the atmosphere as “grim.”
“People are suffering from stress, anxiety and depression. People who haven’t had a day off in 20 years, now they’re taking two, three, four days off because they can’t really cope.”
MMU staff anticipate that this announcement will cause the campus to job cuts, as be anticipated enrollment decreases may require less staff to be present on the campus with time.
“Every faculty has been asked to present plans that include massive cost savings; they’re of such an extent that we can’t see how it’s at all possible without future job losses,” said the branch secretary at the university union, Julie Wilkinson.
“We are amazing at recruiting students who come from non-traditional backgrounds. You meet parents and, because we have so many first-time university students, you change whole families, the idea of what a family can achieve and do. We have a real sense of being engaged with the community.”
She also points out that closing the Crewe campus, as well as others, will “leave a hole in the local economy,” which will be a huge disadvantage for students who are aiming to stay local for a higher education.
“Universities obviously make a massive difference to our students’ employability but the key factor is what you come in with – that’s partly what you achieve at A-level and partly a more general idea of social capital.”
According to the Observer, from 2011 to 2015, the enrollment rate of students in full-time courses in Russell Group universities increased by about 15 percent, while it decreased by 22.9 at MillionPlus institutions, which represent previous colleges and polytechnics. The data also showed that the enrollment rate of students at University Alliance dropped by 3.4 percent for local business links and by 7.1 percent for small specialist universities.
Universities all over the UK are expecting huge struggles and redundancies in light of Brexit and the government’s launch of the “ gold, silver and bronze” league table.