Queen’s to lose scores of academics in cuts drive

Queen's University, south Belfast
Queen's University, south Belfast

Queen’s University Belfast has revealed details of staff losses as part of a cost-cutting drive.

The university is to cut 142 jobs as a result of voluntary early retirement and a voluntary severance scheme.

Of these, 57 are academic posts, with another 36 posts described as “academic-related”.

Another 23 posts are technical staff, while 26 are in clerical or library assistance roles.

Asked in which fields the academic redundancies are concentrated, a spokesman for the university said it covered all three faculty areas: medicine and health, engineering and the physical sciences, and the humanities and arts.

He added that some staff have already left their posts, and that much of the remainder will be gone by December 31 this year.

In a statement, the university said: “The university was required to save recurrently £15.9m.

“The voluntary severance/voluntary early retirement scheme was one of the enablers to support the delivery of this target.

“As of today’s meeting of senate, total savings identified are £15.6m, of which £13m relates to pay.”

The £13m represents the money saved by the cut of 142 staff, plus natural retirement and leaving posts unfilled.

The remaining £2.6m is to be found through other means, such as axing subscriptions to journals and more.

Earlier in 2015, the university had been hit by the loss of around £8m in funding from the Department of Employment and Learning.

As to why £15.9m is being saved, much of it in staff posts, it is understood the university is re-deploying resources in to other areas, such as four new “Global Research Institutes”, designed to “open up exciting new research horizons and possibilities for connecting staff from a broader range of disciplinary backgrounds to make tangible progress in areas of global challenge”.