Dr Read, who is a lecturer at the University of East Anglia, was responding to a report released today by the University and College Union (UCU), which reveals that in the Eastern region at least 39 jobs are at risk in further education and 28 jobs are at risk in higher education: a total of 67 jobs at risk.
In total across the UK 5,891 jobs are at risk or being cut with 4,593 in higher education and 1,298 in further education. Over 100,000 students will be affected. The union warned that the figures understate the problem as many colleges and universities have not released their full staffing plans, but job cuts are growing.
Rupert Read said:
'Across the UK there is a worrying cutback in the staffing of post-school education. East Anglia has not escaped this, with job losses growing across the region. It is clear that universities and colleges are tightening their belts, cutting back on staff and worsening the prospects for school leavers and others wanting to study.
'The government should not allow education to suffer during the recession, it should be equipping students with the new skills and knowledge needed to help create a low carbon economy. We must develop green technologies and businesses and green jobs. The Green Party's 'Green New Deal' sets out how to do this and education's role is vital. '
Commenting on the situation in Norwich, Rupert Read added:
' UEA (the University of East Anglia) has so far managed to avoid compulsory redundancies for teaching staff but unions are concerned by the lack of information available about staffing plans.
'At City College, teaching staff are under increasing pressures as student numbers rise. A reorganisation is underway which is expected to lead to the loss of many support staff jobs next year.'
In the Eastern region, 67 jobs are at risk: 39 in further education and 28 in higher education.
The full figures can be found at http://www.ucu.org.uk/media/docs/m/m/cutting education_main_jul09.doc
· Total jobs = 5,891
· Further education = 1,298
· Higher education = 4,593
· 106,038 students affected - based on student:staff ratio of 18:1 (conservative estimate as SSR higher in further education)