200 university staff apply to take up redundancy offer

Around 200 staff at the University of Central Lancashire have applied to be made voluntarily redundant.

The Preston university revealed the take-up numbers, so far, following a jobs severance exercise launched just over a year ago, when the institution’s headcount stood at around 3,000.

It invited applications for the redundancy process, although it gave no indication of how many redundancies it was seeking, or whether they were in any specific areas of the university.

UCLan said last June that, due to “challenging external factors” it had a cost-saving challenge, despite the university’s latest financial accounts showing a surplus of £1.34m.

Joint institutional leads for the university, Liz Bromley and Lynne Livesey, said: “The university remains financially stable, but given the current economic and political uncertainty in the UK, we have decided to act now to protect our future operations.

“Similar to many other universities, we are developing strategies to manage a range of factors including the year-on-year freeze in fee levels at a time when staff and other operating costs are rising in line with inflation.

“There is further financial uncertainty around Brexit and loss of European funding.

“To help us achieve our cost reduction proposals for the 2019/20 academic year, we have invited expressions of interest from any of our staff who may wish to discuss a potential voluntary redundancy arrangement.

“At this stage we have no specific cost reduction target or the exact numbers of staff that this should potentially involve, however we do need to understand the level of interest initially before making any decisions. Our approach throughout this process will be considered and carefully planned.”

Today, a spokesman for the university told TheBusinessDesk.com: “Over 12 months ago, the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) opened a voluntary severance scheme as part of a university-wide restructure to reduce staffing costs in some areas while continuing to be able to support and invest in areas of growth.

“In the region of 200 staff have chosen to leave the university via voluntary means since the scheme opened.”