The vice-chancellor of Kingston University has said poor recruitment figures are to blame for potential teaching job losses and course cuts at the School of Surveying and Planning.

The University and College Union said that up to a dozen staff could be be let go.

Vice-chancellor Professor Julius Weinberg said 18 first- and second-year planning students could lose their places.

Staff in the department emailed students yesterday to tell them of the plans, and were themselves informed at 4pm on Wednesday.

No final decision has yet been made. A 30-day consultation with staff and trade unions is underway.

Prof Weinberg said today: "The majority of courses will continue to run and we hope this realignment will ensure that they flourish.

"One of the proposals we are exploring is the closure of our planning courses from the start of the new academic year in September due to poor recruitment figures in this area.

"Should we decide to withdraw from planning, 18 current first and second year students would be affected.

"The university will do everything it can to ensure these students can complete their studies, either on a similar alternative course at Kingston or at another university.

"These changes may result in the need for some staff redundancies. We will work with staff concerned and trades unions to seek alternatives wherever this is possible.

"We are in discussions with the students’ union, the professional bodies and the relevant sections of the university to ensure all students currently based with the school continue to have a positive experience on the courses they are studying."

Other proposed changes are:

  • Courses in surveying would move to the University’s School of Civil Engineering and Construction
  • Real estate would relocate to Kingston’s Law School to help form an Institute of Property
  • The MA in Art Market Appraisal and Foundation Degrees in Historic Building Conservation and Architectural Stonework would remain based in the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture

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