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Students protest staff cuts at University of Surrey

Uni of Surrey Protest

Published by Josh Kerr at 4:12pm 6th March 2019. (Updated at 4:17pm 6th March 2019)

Around 30 students at the University of Surrey have taken part in a protest against cuts to staff numbers.

The institution confirmed this week that everyone working there has been offered voluntary redundancy, with compulsory layoffs also a possibility.

Campaigners, who held a march through campus earlier, say the move would negatively impact on all aspects of student life.

Among those taking part in the demonstration was final year student Akanshya Gurung, she said:

"Whether it's lecturers or cleaning staff or security staff, they're the people that work at this university, our university, so what affects them will affect us so we need to stand in solidarity with them.

"At every level students will be affected, their working environments are our learning environments."

Fellow protester second year Michael Slavin added:

"In the last few years there's been a rapid expansion of the university.

"When they cut staff, we already have too many students per staff.

"It's just going to worsen the student experience and the education we're getting."

A spokesperson told Eagle Radio that the institution's expenditure is forecast to exceed its income, as the university sector as a whole faces 'unprecedented challenges'.

In an attempt to reduce staffing levels a recruitment freeze is also in place.

The university spokesperson said: 

"The University sector as a whole is facing unprecedented challenges, some more certain in timing and magnitude than others, and we are not immune from these.

"We are taking appropriate and considered actions across the University in order to balance income and expenditure, while continuing to achieve our strategic goals, and to prioritise our focus on providing the best possible teaching experience for our students.

"While we can never rule out the possibility of compulsory redundancies, we will seek to avoid these wherever possible."

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