University launches voluntary severance scheme amid 'financial pressures' 

Officials from the university said 'external financial pressures' were behind the decision.

Robert Gordon University launches voluntary severance scheme amid ‘financial pressures’  Google Maps

Robert Gordon University (RGU) has launched a voluntary severance scheme in a bid to save money in the face of falling international student numbers and a lack of public funding.

The Aberdeen-based institution announced the scheme – which offers qualifying employees working in specific areas to apply to leave the university on a voluntary basis.

Officials from the university said the decision comes amid a “steep drop” in student numbers arriving internationally due to changes to the UK’s immigration policy.

A “severe decline” in public funding was also cited as a reason for the scheme being introduced with a consultation period beginning over a “proposed restructure” to the university.

The institution currently employs around 1,800 members of staff and has over 18,000 students.

Professor Steve Olivier, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of RGU said: “Universities in Scotland and throughout the UK are facing significant financial challenges due to a steep drop in international student numbers caused by changes to UK immigration policy; a severe decline in public funding; and acute cost pressures in the current economic climate.

“Robert Gordon University is a successful institution and we have seen significant growth in recent years.

“However, it’s important that we act now and respond to these external financial pressures to not only maintain our long-term financial sustainability but also to continue delivering on our wide-ranging strategic commitments to the North East and beyond.

“As part of our detailed plans to navigate these sector challenges, we have committed to taking some challenging yet necessary actions and have now opened a voluntary severance scheme for the majority of staff to apply to.

“While we have always recognised staff as our biggest asset, we are at a place where we must streamline our structure and reprofile our workforce.

“We have also commenced a period of consultation for a proposed restructure of our organisation.

“This proposal will not result in any significant change in academic offering to all of our current and future students as we are not closing any of our subject provision.

“These are carefully considered decisions and have included regular consultation with relevant stakeholders, including trade union representatives.

“We are unwavering in our confidence of the University and the future that it holds.

“RGU caters for over 18,000 students while delivering vital social, economic and cultural contributions to the region and wider nation.

“These changes will not affect our excellent teaching and learning experience that is among the best in the UK.”

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