83 Views

Students protest to stop the cuts

Last Thursday the 26th November, ‘Stop the Cuts’ protestors descended on Bramber House to lobby the Vice-Chancellor, Michael Farthing, over the latest proposed cut backs and redundancies at Sussex.

The University has announced that it will be making over 100 redundancies across the campus as of July 31st. These job losses will affect the departments of Life Sciences, Informatics, Engineering, History, and English, as well as the Centre for Continuing Education (CCE).

The University’s budget for 2009/10 seeks to reduce costs by £3m on a turnover of £160m, with additional savings of up to £5m in 2010/11. All the while, members of Senior Management at Sussex have recently enjoyed pay increases. Michael Farthing is sitting pretty on a salary of £227,000, almost £40,000 more than Gordon Brown’s annual income. Moreover, the wage belt of the top 20 managers at the University exceeds £2.6m. With inflation at an all time low, many students and tutors are mystified as to how the University can justify these pay rises.

In the week leading up to the protest, Stop the Cuts activists posted flyers across the campus in the style of wanted posters, branding a mug shot of the Vice-Chancellor, accompanied by the slogan “Michael ‘Thieving’ Farthing: wanted for crimes against students”. The lucrative ‘reward’ on offer is nothing less than Farthing’s own generous salary.

The Stop the Cuts campaign demands that the university administration makes no compulsory redundancies and resists student fees and cuts in higher education spending. It argues for the reining in of executive pay, the postponement of new building projects, and the protection of academic freedom.

“When they say cut back, we say fight back. No ifs, no buts, no education cuts” was the mantra of the protestors as they marched through Library Square and onto Bramber House. The energetic protest attracted many onlookers who stopped in their tracks as USSU Welfare Officer, Ciaran Whitehead, and Paul Cecil, President of the University and College Union (UCU), addressed the crowd.

Ciaran stressed that it is the staff and students that make our institution what it is, “we are not a university of corporate management.”

Paul Cecil further warned that “the central relationship between students and staff working together in the educational project is at huge risk under the University’s proposals.”

A number of protestors attempted to continue their march into Bramber House, where the Vice-Chancellor was attending a lunchtime meeting. However, security was called to halt the students and the fire doors were subsequently locked for around 20 minutes.

The University has said that it will continue to invest in targeted areas like the infrastructure developments on campus for teaching, learning and research, as well as in new student housing. Professor Farthing has stressed that “the development of the campus is necessary to sustain growth and improvement over the long term and is critically important if the University is to be successful.”

Farthing has also declared that Sussex is to establish a new school of business, management and economics, which he hopes will tap into the overseas student market. Indeed, one in seven international students comes to Britain to study business and management, and Farthing is not prepared to miss out on this income stream.

However, Welfare Officer, Ciaran Whitehead, was quick to point out: “International students are not cash cows; we must be able to provide them with sufficient support.”

Speaking on BBC Sussex Radio on the day of the protest, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Layzell, insisted that the University must respond to the demands of perspective students. “There is a changing student demand; the University must look for new course programmes that satisfy the wants of perspective students.”

It remains to be seen whether management will listen to the demands of the University’s existing students, who want small class sizes, access to tutors, and quality teaching within a respected academic environment.

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam

Leave a Reply

Join the Badger Team

Apply today!

Latest Posts

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate
Campus News
291 views1
Campus News
291 views1

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

Student society Liberate the Debate’s most recent event was cancelled over a lack of compliance with the Students' Union's (USSU) requirement for a neutral chair - a…

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
25 views
Arts
25 views

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 23, 2018

What a phenomenal contrast these two films present when watched side-by-side. In essence, together they are capable of tracing inner and outer metamorphoses of their subjects. The…

Dollywould at The Old Market preview
Arts
30 views
Arts
30 views

Dollywould at The Old Market preview

Alex Hutson - May 22, 2018

From the 22nd May - 25th May 2018 DollyWould will be showing at The Old Market. An exciting new show, presented by Sh!t Theatre, who won the…

Exhibition: Io-sono Fedilouu
Artist Focus
83 views
Artist Focus
83 views

Exhibition: Io-sono Fedilouu

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - May 16, 2018

Last week artist Fedilou made her debut exhibition in the downstairs space of Morelli Zorelli, a quaint vegan Italian restaurant in Hove, featuring a collection of intimate…

Interview with Philosophy faculty and COGS director Ron Chrisley
Interview
57 views
Interview
57 views

Interview with Philosophy faculty and COGS director Ron Chrisley

Nikolaos Manesis - May 15, 2018

Ron Chrisley is a Reader in Philosophy, on the faculty of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, and is the director of COGS (Centre for Cognitive Science).…

Adam review
Arts
112 views
Arts
112 views

Adam review

Ketan Jha - May 13, 2018

If you have been a stranger to the stage this spring and decide to see one contemporary show, let it be Adam. This reviewer went in entirely…

Brighton Fringe Preview: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
110 views
Arts
110 views

Brighton Fringe Preview: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 13, 2018

In celebration of iconic Brighton local, legendary alt-rock musician (and episodic actor) Nick Cave, TOM’s Film Club are hosting a double-bill screening of his films at The…

Whimsical fairy-tale meets class war – Standard: Elite review
Arts
130 views
Arts
130 views

Whimsical fairy-tale meets class war – Standard: Elite review

Georgia Grace - May 11, 2018

Meta-theatricality and interactivity are becoming all the more vogue in contemporary theatre, and in a world where the arts are becoming increasingly open and democratised, I find…

A Year of Art Society: The Best Picks
Artist Focus
107 views
Artist Focus
107 views

A Year of Art Society: The Best Picks

Alex Leissle - May 9, 2018

  [gallery type="slideshow" ids="35385,35386,35387,35388,35389,35390,35391,35392,35393,35394,35395,35396,35397,35398,35399,35400,35401,35402,35403,35404,35405,35406,35407,35408,35409,35410,35411"]

More Brit(ish) than ever: A review of Afua Hirsch at Brighton Festival
Books
88 views
Books
88 views

More Brit(ish) than ever: A review of Afua Hirsch at Brighton Festival

William Singh - May 9, 2018

Afua Hirsch’s 2018 book - part memoir, part polemic - provokes mixed feelings. So too did her discussion of the topic at this year’s Brighton Festival. Don’t…

Ethnic-bioweapons: between conspiracy and reality
Science
122 views
Science
122 views

Ethnic-bioweapons: between conspiracy and reality

Luke Richards - May 8, 2018

Bioweapons exist, while ethnic-bioweapons are whispered conspiracies. Pandemics can fairly hazardous to human life, the 1918 Flu Pandemic killed 20-50 million people. A man made pandemic could…

Breaking: Spring referenda results announced
News
176 views
News
176 views

Breaking: Spring referenda results announced

Jessica Hubbard - May 4, 2018

Students have voted to support the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, reject Prevent and adopt new Gender Equality policies. Results for the Students' Union referenda were…

Why I’m Jewish AND I support BDS
Comment
168 views
Comment
168 views

Why I’m Jewish AND I support BDS

Sarah McIntosh - May 2, 2018

The idea of a land where my religious identity is welcomed and where I feel safe to be myself and live in peace is a beautiful idea…

Student research happening at Sussex
Features
145 views
Features
145 views

Student research happening at Sussex

Nikolaos Manesis - May 1, 2018

(Image source: Flickr, Pixabay, Wikipedia) Another academic year is coming to a close and with it, the last edition of The Badger. To celebrate our last science…

Sussex Festival cancelled
Campus News
210 views
Campus News
210 views

Sussex Festival cancelled

Jordan Wright - April 30, 2018

The Students’ Union have cancelled their highly anticipated end-of-term event Sussex Festival: Desert Island Disco, which was due to begin on Saturday May 12th. The Students’ Union…

Students’ Union President Gustafsson and Liberate the Debate respond to the cancelled event
Comment
229 views
Comment
229 views

Students’ Union President Gustafsson and Liberate the Debate respond to the cancelled event

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

These comment pieces represent the opinions of both the Students' Union and Liberate the Debate with regards to the  recent cancellation of the Society's freedom of speech…

Artist Focus: Rory Hinshelwood
Artist Focus
146 views
Artist Focus
146 views

Artist Focus: Rory Hinshelwood

Louisa Hunt - April 25, 2018

Rory Hinshelwood studies Zoology with Spanish at Sussex. His brand is called Poplar St., at the moment the brand sell embroidered high-quality t-shirts. Rory works mostly in graphics…

Artist Focus: Maayan Cohen
Artist Focus
105 views
Artist Focus
105 views

Artist Focus: Maayan Cohen

Emma Phillips - April 24, 2018

The Badger spoke with Sussex University’s Maayan Cohen about her creative workshop, ‘Bits and Pieces.’ Can you tell us a bit about Bits and Pieces- what’s the…

Voodoo enthralls at The Old Market – review
Arts
133 views
Arts
133 views

Voodoo enthralls at The Old Market – review

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - April 24, 2018

As part of South East Dance’s micro-festival, Undisciplined, Voodoo comes to being as a collaboration between South East Dance and Project O. Project O brings artists Alexandrina…

Arts
136 views

Trial & error: Sex, sass and foolishness through dance

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - April 24, 2018

For the concluding show of South East Dance’s micro-festival, Double Bill brings two short performances to The Old Market’s stage: Comebacks I thought of later by Eleanor…