University of Birmingham Defend Education would like to express its solidarity to the staff at the University of Salford, who have been informed that a further 218 jobs are set to be cut in an attempt to save £7 million. This is in addition to the loss of 150 jobs at the University in the past two years. Many of these job losses have been described by the University as “reorganisation of our professional services”, but the Salford Star maintains that staff will be forced to reapply for jobs and that the figure of 218 job losses remains accurate.
Unfortunately these job cuts represent yet another attack on the quality of public education at the point of delivery, the point where it matters; the lecturers that impart knowledge to students, at a time when funds are being diverted towards the beautification of campuses (the University of Salford is spending £50 million on its new MediaCityUK Campus) and the increasing pay of University management teams across the country. As the government push an agenda of privatisation in areas such as education and the NHS, and attempts to marketise and commodify the public university system, it remains imperative that students and staff stand in solidarity nationwide, and the University of Birmingham Defend Education extends their support to the staff at Salford, and to any groups fighting for public education and the preservation of their jobs against the austerity measures of the coalition government.