In January 2020, the university announced they were making sweeping cuts and a change agenda, the scale of which is unprecedented in its history.
They claim: 'Evolving Goldsmiths is our action plan to secure a bright future for the university, where we continue to provide the best possible teaching and research opportunities and enable a lasting legacy of progressive social change.'
But we disagree. Their plans involve a 10-15% reduction of all departmental budgets, a restructuring of senior management to add additional highly paid staff, inevitable further casualisation of staff contracts, and a centralising of power and decision making away from academic departments.
As representatives for students we, the Sabbatical Officers, are incredibly worried about the effect these changes will have on your lives. The Warden talks about these changes leading to an improved student experience.
We respond with this: the overall staff count being radically reduced will inarguably do the opposite to the student experience. Cutting frontline student services that are already stretched will only serve to further exacerbate the mental health crisis. We will release a full response to all of the changes and cuts outlined soon, but it is clear this crisis has come about as a result of our education being marketised, and Goldsmiths’ endorsing a business model that is based on infinite and never-ending growth. As soon as there aren’t enough bums on seats, the bubble bursts.
What does all this REALLY mean for you?
1. A 15% reduction in budget = a reduction in services and level of teaching
2. Heads of Department will have less power to make changes
3. University Senior Management and the Warden will have more power
4. Department merges
5. An increased lack of democracy and student consultation, i.e. the closure of Club Pulse
6. Voluntary severence (your fave staff members potentially putting themselves up for redundancy)
7. Ramped up marketisation/a focus on just those courses which are income generated = course closures
8. A reduction in administrative staff - the helpful members of staff who are the backbones of your departments
9. The gym closure, which is vital for student wellbeing
10. Schoolification - a change to school structures
11. A centralisation of department admin
12. Academic autonomy - the university can do what they like without consultation