23/08/2011 06:26 BST | Updated 22/10/2011 06:12 BST

Middlesex University Lecturers To Be Balloted Over Potential Job Cuts Strike

A union has today threatened industrial action after cost-cutting measures made by an top fee-charging university could result in up to 300 job losses.

Universities and College Union (UCU) announced they will hold a ballot for its members at Middlesex University to vote whether or not to strike.

The university wants to implement the cutbacks despite charging some of the highest fees in the UK for 2012. Figures from the Office For Fair Access revealed after financial support is taken into account, the university will charge £8,602 when the new fees come into place.

Andy Young, regional official for the UCU, said: "We do not see the need for making such large scale redundancies at this time. This is not the way to attract students to a university."

A Middlesex University spokesperson told the Huffington Post UK:

"With all universities facing unprecedented government cuts we have no choice but to take prompt action to ensure Middlesex continues to remain in a strong and sustainable financial position.

"It goes without saying providing the best possible experience for our students will remain the top priority despite these challenges. This means looking at every option."

The university insisted it remained committed to avoiding making redundancies and have re-opened a voluntary redundancy scheme, but added: "If voluntary redundancy and other cost cutting measures can't fill the funding gap, then we regret that compulsory redundancies are an option.

"We believe it to be very unfortunate that the Union should ballot for strike action when the voluntary redundancy scheme has not yet run its course, and the university does not know if compulsory redundancy will be required."

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said: "Industrial action is always a last resort, but a strike is on the cards if the university refuses to withdraw its threat of compulsory job losses. Universities should be doing all they can to improve quality and their reputation - not axing staff."