Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

RGU staff offered voluntary severance as bosses plan shake-up of schools

The university confirmed tonight that it is taking "challenging yet necessary actions" to protect the future of the institution.

Robert Gordon University.
Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen. Image: RGU

Robert Gordon University (RGU) left staff stunned today as it revealed a  voluntary severance scheme has been launched in a bid to futureproof the institution.

Bosses revealed a series of proposals to the workforce this afternoon as they press on with a ‘financial transformation project’ to maintain the university’s “long-term financial sustainability”.

A consultation period for a “proposed restructure” of the academic schools has also been announced, which would affect sites such as the school of Creative and Cultural Business which teaches courses including journalism, hospitality and digital marketing.

It’s understood these courses would be located within other schools in the future.

This evening, the university insisted that there would be “no significant change in academic offering” to all current and future students, and that it was not stopping any subjects.

However, The P&J understands that staff feel the news was “dropped as a bombshell” and that morale amongst the workforce is extremely low.

Professor Steve Olivier, principal of Robert Gordon University. Image: Robert Gordon University

A university source said that staff have been kept updated for months on the university’s financial challenges and the potential steps that could be taken.

Professor Steve Olivier, principal and vice-chancellor, said universities across Scotland and the UK are facing significant financial challenges due to drops in international student numbers, a severe decline in public funding, and cost pressures in the current economic climate.

He said: “Robert Gordon University is a successful institution and we have seen significant growth in recent years.

“However, it’s important that we act now and respond to these external financial pressures to not only maintain our long-term financial sustainability but also to continue delivering on our wide-ranging strategic commitments to the North East and beyond.

“As part of our detailed plans to navigate these sector challenges, we have committed to taking some challenging yet necessary actions and have now opened a voluntary severance scheme for the majority of staff to apply to.

“While we have always recognised staff as our biggest asset, we are at a place where we must streamline our structure and reprofile our workforce.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We recognise the crucial role of Scotland’s universities and colleges, which is why we have invested nearly £2 billion a year in the sector, supporting them to deliver high quality teaching and training.

“It is for individual universities, as autonomous institutions, to make decisions around appropriate staffing levels and how to manage this. However, the Scottish Government expects universities to adhere to Fair Work principles when implementing voluntary severance schemes.”

Changes will not affect ‘excellent teaching and learning’, says uni

Mr Olivier added that these “carefully considered decision” have included regular consultation with stakeholders including trade union reps.

Mr Olivier added: “We are unwavering in our confidence of the university and the future that it holds.

“RGU caters for over 18,000 students while delivering vital social, economic and cultural contributions to the region and wider nation.

“These changes will not affect our excellent teaching and learning experience that is among the best in the UK.”

Mary Senior from the University and College Union it’s “a difficult time” for workers across the university sector, with voluntary severance or voluntary redundancy schemes running in a number of institutions including Glasgow Caledonian University, Aberdeen University and others.

She said: “Scottish Government cuts to university funding, a drop in applications from international students due to the UK government’s rhetoric and visa controls, along with pressures from changes to the pension scheme that operates for lecturing staff in post-92 universities, are creating these financial pressures.

“It is vital that university bosses prioritise the workers delivering the learning, teaching and student support in our universities, staff are key to the positive student experience our institutions seek to deliver.

“UCU will continue to support our members – workers in universities – and to oppose compulsory redundancies.”

‘Our homes can’t be left to go to Raac and ruin’: Faces of the Torry concrete crisis as heartbroken homeowners hit out