Ulster University in line for a series of cuts

Ulster University, Coleraine Campus.
Ulster University, Coleraine Campus.

Teaching staff at Ulster University have been told of a series of potential job losses across campuses at Coleraine and Magee in line with mooted budget cuts.

It is understood that staff were informed yesterday of the closure of the School of Modern Languages at Coleraine.

The move follows an £8.6m cut in the subsidy received from the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL).

UU staff at Belfast and Jordanstown will hear from senior management later today.

In June, the university announced it planned to shed 210 jobs in 2015/16 and 1,200 student places over the next three years due to funding reductions.

The ‘Journal’ also understands that the Department of Psychology may be moved to Coleraine affectinglectureships at Magee and the Graduate Law School based in Derry may also be shifted to Coleraine. However, the Department of Computing and Engineering currently based at Coleraine may be shifted to Magee as could be the Department of Environmental Sciences and Business which could result in job losses at Coleraine.

In a statement, a UU spokesperson said: “The university is now advising those individuals who are likely to be affected.

“Until this briefing process has completed, it would be inappropriate to confirm any speculation around decisions relating to specific courses or subject areas.”

Meanwhile there has been a call to centralise the Computer and Engineering Faculty, currently spread across three campuses, at a new Magee satellite at Ebrington.

University campaigner Eamonn McCann says it’s now opportune - a month ahead of Magee’s 150th anniversary - to expand university provision in Derry as a misfiring property gamble by the Ulster University in North Belfast has cast doubt on the viability of its expansion plans there.

Funding and planning pressures are restricting the University’s ability to expand out of York Street, says Mr McCann.

As an alternative he suggests “one of the six Jordanstown faculties could move to the Ebrington site in Derry where there would be more than enough space and where a real and lasting legacy of the City of Culture could be housed.”

He adds: “The 3,000 students in the university’s Faculty of Computing and

Engineering are currently spread across three campuses. Several hundred are already at Magee.

“Bringing the faculty as a whole to Derry would bring well over 2,000 additional students to the city and more than 100 well paid jobs.”

It is also understood that the University Colleges Union will meet members tomorrow to discuss the situation.