The University of Lincoln does not plan to cut jobs to deal with the government’s higher education funding cuts, according to Scott Davidson, pro vice-chancellor for external affairs.
“You can’t ever completely exclude that possibility and it would be misleading of me if I would say that there will be no job cuts. But the scenarios we’re currently looking at don’t take that into consideration,” Davidson said in an interview with The Linc.
The university is assessing the potential impact of Lord Mandelson’s higher education funding cuts, which total £900m.
New projects at the university, such as the engineering school and the conversion of the old Lincolnshire Echo building into the business and law faculty, should be unaffected by the cuts. “[The university’s current plans] are all pretty well established, so we’re able to push ahead with those projects without any difficulty,” Davidson said.
He said that safeguarding course and the student experience is the university’s top priority: “We’re not predicting any cuts to student services. We’re looking to protect the full range of student activities and continue to enhance them wherever we can.”
There are plans to generate more income through consulting for businesses, research contracts, educational contracts, and other “creative” ways.
Efficiency savings are also being explored: “In areas like procurement, for example, we’re working hard to ensure that we do get the best value for money… In an institution of this size we have a considerable amount of purchasing power. If you just think about how many computers we need in the university each year, how much paper we get through, how much food we get through — those are all opportunities to… get better deals from suppliers.”
Increasing the number of international students, who pay full fees, is another of the university’s plans. However, this will not affect the number of places given to home students: “International students are not taking up places available to home and EU students. We have a contract number of… home and EU students that we are allowed to take, but any international students we recruit are above and beyond that.”
Overall, Davidson is optimistic about the university’s future: “I think we’re pretty well positioned… I think that if we can successfully navigate the difficulties that we’re bound to experience in the next two or three years, then I think that Lincoln will certainly emerge as one of the stronger universities in England.”Tweet