AROUND 100 students staged a protest at Winchester University yesterday after more than 100 lecturers were put at risk of redundancy.

A spokesman for Winchester University has confirmed 118 members of academic staff have been "invited to consider voluntary severance", although the spokesman added the university is looking to cut between 30 and 40 full-time equivalent (FTE) posts.

Yesterday, students protested at the Sparkford Road campus over the planned cuts which have been branded ‘unjust’.

The protest was organised by third year drama student, Lottie Dean-Clist, who said: “The way the redundancies have only just been announced made it more of a shock for all of us. It seems like the whole thing was covered up and silenced before this.

“After the news escaped, tensions rose and its been affecting learning since – it just feels like its opened a new world of stress.

“I’ve always been taught to use my arts training as a transformation tool, so making my own demo felt right.

"Around 100 people turned up and it felt fantastic. I’d imagine everyone else is very upset.”

Another student, Samuel Morton, said the cuts would “have a profound impact on the quality of teaching for current and future students”.

He added: “We believe that these cuts are unjust and that the manner with which they are being executed lacks transparency.

"Many people have been left in the dark about whether their jobs/livelihood are at stake, having received very little in the way or correspondences from the university.”

The protesters say the event at the Sparkford Road campus was held in a bid to secure a meeting with the dean or vice chancellor about the cuts, and received support from the University and College Union.

Regional official Moray McAulay said: “We welcome the support of students who will undoubtedly be affected by job losses as staff working conditions are students’ learning conditions.

"The university needs to work with us to properly explore alternative options and not make any knee-jerk cuts.”

In a statement, a spokesman for Winchester University said: “Like many other institutions within the higher education sector, the university is having to rebalance staffing.

“Members of staff from across the institution have been invited to consider voluntary severance under the scheme, with a view to reducing between 30-40 full time equivalent posts.

"We hope to secure these by offering voluntary severance terms.”