Concern at Queens University department cuts – Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin MLA Sue Ramsey has expressed concerns at the proposed cuts in department jobs at Queens University Belfast.
Speaking today Ms Ramsey said:
“The news that Queens University is to cut back on at least 150 academic posts with the closure of some departments is alarming.
“I am especially concerned that some of the departments targeted and set to close are Electrical Engineering and the Belfast East Science Centre’s Computer Science department. Both are world leading research centres that receive significant grants as a result. Staff in Maths and Physics departments are also targeted.
“These are STEM subjects which have been recently placed in the spotlight. Both secondary and primary education sectors are attempting to encourage the growth of students studying these subjects, subjects that are vital to the development of our local economy, tertiary education must do the same.
“Queens has proposed these plans stating funding concerns and performance as reasons however this is clearly questionable given that funding for the University has increased for both research and teaching while the University reserves are set to rise from £75m to £78m this financial year. On top of this a huge pay rise of £24 thousand can be awarded the vice chancellor bringing his salary to above £200,000.
“I am calling on the Minister for Employment and learning to meet with Queens University as a matter of urgency and apply the necessary pressure to safeguard these posts and attain a proper explanation as to why Queens University is making these cutbacks against an increase in University funding. “