The University has released a statement on myUCA today about what it calls “Professional Services Alignment”.
You can find this statement under ‘Announcements’ to the right-hand side when you log in.
The statement says that over the coming months UCA will be “exploring ways of ensuring that it is operating in the most efficient and effective way”.
This is in response to fewer students going to university across the country, and the 16% drop in students UCA has experienced this year.
UCA are being transparent about their need to make around £1.5m in savings. They aim to do this through reducing staffing costs.
There will be no course closures, and no changes to numbers of academic staff beyond the current policy of “natural wastage”, i.e if someone leaves they may not be replaced.
Departments involved in the review will be Academic Registry, Library and Student Services, Estate services, Finance, Marketing, technical resources, IT services, the International department and HR.
The heads of the above mentioned departments, and all Heads of School, have been asked to write up business plans for how to achieve the ‘alignment’ and what changes might need to be made. The Union has not seen these business plans but we will be asking for them.
They have said this process will be mostly ‘academically driven’, meaning that they aim to focus on maintaining or improving your courses and the professional services supporting your studies, and the review will not be entirely guided by the need to make financial savings.
The coming changes are in the early planning stages, so the Union cannot speculate about what kind of effect this will have on the front-line services you access.
The Union is already petitioning in Canterbury to tell UCA that cuts to front-line staff and services are not acceptable, and must be completely avoided. Campus Officers will be launching similar efforts across UCA soon.
The University have said they are “committed to managing the process in such a way as to maintain and develop the student experience and minimise the impact on all students”. We intend to ensure they honour this commitment.
- UCASU Executive Committee 2012/13
Luke Frost - Chair, Maidstone Campus Officer
Lewis Barton - Canterbury Campus Officer
Ed Hewison - Epsom Campus Officer
Steve Martin - Farnham Campus Officer
Dean Smith - Rochester Campus Officer
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