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NUJ expresses solidarity with Goldsmiths staff and students amid proposed redundancies

THE National Union of Journalists (NUJ) expressed solidarity today with staff and students at Goldsmiths, University of London, where management plans to make more than 50 staff redundant.

The jobs at risk are 20 academic posts in English and creative writing and history and 32 professional services posts.

Most members of the University and College Union (UCU) branch said last week that they were in favour of industrial action to fight the cuts.

The UCU, Unison and Goldsmith’s Students Union have warned that the redundancies will lead to the axing of degree courses, cause administrative chaos and worsen the experience of students at the university.

Under a restructuring plan opposed by many department heads, the senior management team is also aiming to save £6 million through further job cuts over two years.­­

Among the courses under threat is Goldsmiths’ pioneering BA in history and journalism programme, the NUJ said.

Backing the actions by the UCU and Unison, NUJ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet said: “With the government attempting to undermine the teaching of humanities subjects in higher education, Goldsmiths should instead be defending history and providing enhanced resources for journalism education, not engaging in academic vandalism.

“The BA history and journalism has shown how humanities subjects can make an impact on society and reflects the type of innovation needed in journalism education.”

The NUJ said that it supported the UCU call for the restructuring plan to be cancelled and urged Goldsmiths to work with staff unions to build on its strong potential for growth.

A Goldsmiths spokesperson said that the university faced significant financial challenges, including an underlying deficit, over £10m of additional costs and lost income due to Covid-19, government cuts that will see it lose over £2m in funding every year and declining student numbers.

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