EG to cut degree programmes in ALL divisions?

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  • Kent’s Executive Group (EG) are considering closing a large number degree programmes across ALL divisions, not just the Arts & Humanities (which has hitherto been the focus of cuts).
  • Any degree that recruits under 20 students could be at risk.
  • Undergraduate tuition fees are still the university’s main source of income and they are used to pay staff salaries.


What EG seem to want

  • “Fix” timetabling issues by cutting degree programmes & modules

  • Create ‘mega’ degrees, with less specialisation, less student choice and less research led teaching

  • Cut degree programmes → Lose students & income → Make jobs unviable

This is a significant & credible threat

  • EG have *already* scrapped the Social Policy programme in SSPSSR (a particularly strong & successful department), without consulting staff or trade unions.

  • Our recent deal of ‘no compulsory redundancies for all staff’ expires on 31st December 2022.

  • Our new deal (which is still being negotiated) of ‘no compulsory redundancies for staff in A&H as a result of the review’ does not cover staff outside A&H – EG have only just made public their intention to scrap degree programmes outside of A&H. While we have protection from immediate redundancies, if degree programmes are ‘taught out’ and closed over the next few years, EG are likely to cut more staff once those programmes are closed, or offer ‘bumped redundancy’ e.g. redundancy after an agreed period like 2-3 years.

  • Note that our deal so far is still a significant achievement – witness the threat of mass compulsory redundancies at Birkbeck.

What degree programme closures mean

  • After one to three years of losing student income, EG are likely to use this as a pretext to impose compulsory redundancies.

  • You may be pressured to take “Voluntary Severance”. If you have any verbal or written evidence of this, email

  • You may be forced or pressured to accept a new role on far lower pay. The branch is trying to negotiate a better redeployment policy, including no downgrading.

  • You are far less likely to teach your research specialisms & programmes you have nurtured over the years.

EG’s record

  • A “Kent Vision” IT system so dysfunctional it has failed to keep even the most basic records of student registration and attendance.

  • Kent Vision problems have resulted in significant issues retaining students, who staff worked so hard to recruit.

  • A failing timetabling system, which has compounded the issues above. There has been a 100% turnover of staff in timetabling in the past 12 months. In this respect, the university is not fulfilling its basic functions.

  • ‘Organising for Success’ has been a failure, with systems and structures far less effective, and staff workloads at impossible levels.

UCU’s alternative vision

  • Kent UCU negotiators have put forward counter proposals for recruitment growth, as well as a fairer, partial and temporary redeployment policy. The branch has proposed bringing back highly profitable joint honours programmes, which generated over £1 million in income.

  • EG has until 21st November to negotiate with us over our concerns about CRs and related issues. We’ll be in touch after this date with what EG are offering us.

What you need to do to halt programme closures

  • Sign & share this all-staff petition. Full text below.

  • Talk to your colleagues & head of school about this threat. Raise it as an agenda item at your next School/ department/ Divisional meeting.

Other news

  • All national strike information is here and there will be further updates imminently.

  • Kent University’s pay deduction policy for industrial action remains the same as previous years and will be updated on their webpages.

Petition text in full

Don’t cut degree programmes – defend jobs at Kent

Kent University senior management are planning to cut degree programmes in a medium term effort to sack staff. Every single division is under threat. If cuts go ahead, staff are at severe risk of being made compulsorily redundant.

There is no financial justification for cutting degree programmes – it will lose the university money.

Fewer students will come to Kent, which will hammer tuition fee income – this is exactly what happened with EG’s closure of the joint honours programme, which lost us significant income.

The University effectively broke even this year & met its recent “savings” targets.

The institution is profitable and financially secure, spending:

  • over £13.5 million on Kent Vision (which doesn’t even work!)

  • £4 million on tennis courts

  • £2 million a year on 12 members of the executive group

Sign the petition here