United Kingdom
North West; Greater Manchester; Greater Manchester North
Location of affected unit(s)
Vet, Higher And Tertiary Education
85.4 - Higher education

400 jobs
Number of planned job losses
Job loss
Announcement Date
9 March 2007
Employment effect (start)
9 March 2009
Foreseen end date


Four hundred jobs are being cut at the University of Manchester because it is 30 million GBP in debt. Bosses say there will be no compulsory job losses. They are seeking volunteers for redundancy or early retirement. In 2004, the university merged with the neighbouring Institute of Science and Technology to create one of Europe's biggest universities. University president Alan Gilbert said some cutbacks were needed to ensure future growth. Mr Gilbert said that one of its main problems is the number of staff taken on since the merger, swelling the workforce by a total of 2,800 people. This has meant the annual budget has been hit by higher-than-expected wage increases, he added. A large rise in utility costs has also combined to push the university 30 million GBP into the red. But Mr Gilbert explained it has been preparing for the situation.

'Mergers always create unnecessary duplication,' he said.

'In order to give the new institution two years to settle down a formal understanding was reached with the trade unions that the new university would delay any loss of jobs arising from any merger for two years.'

'Ambitious agendas are never without cost. We now face the major, unavoidable challenge of addressing these two deficits in order to bring the university budget back into surplus.'

Officials of the University and College Union, which represents lecturers, said they were in talks with the university. Details about the voluntary redundancy and early retirement packages will be available later this month.


  • 16 March 2007: BBC News
  • 9 March 2007: BBC News


Eurofound (2007), University of Manchester, Merger/Acquisition in United Kingdom, factsheet number 65074, European Restructuring Monitor. Dublin, https://restructuringeventsprod.azurewebsites.net/restructuring-events/detail/65074.