This week Goldsmiths announced sweeping cuts and a change agenda the scale of which is unprecedented in Goldsmiths’ history. Their plans involve a 10-15% reduction of all departments 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.
We, along with the campus trade unions, are still digesting what this will mean, and some details are unclear. However as representatives for students we 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 share our solidarity with staff members who are now being encouraged, through “voluntary severance,” to leave. We are worried about this news follows similar trends in other Universities, including the shocking news from SOAS, who sacked all of their precarious staff in one go. We will be working with all of the staff trade Unions at Goldsmiths to ensure security for staff and ensure students voices are heard loud and clear. It is imperative the college release as much information as possible to the student and staff body, and open these plans to full scrutiny. 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.
If you have questions or if you'd like to get involved in organising with the Students’ Union around these changes, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.