A HAMPSHIRE university is to cut 200 jobs as it battles to cope with funding cuts.

Bosses at the University of Southampton say they cannot rule out compulsory redundancies among the management, specialist and administrative workers who are all affected.

Staff say they have been warned they could have to reapply for their jobs as part of a radical overhaul of every school and faculty.

Union bosses last night hit out at the targeting of lower paid workers for cuts, and claimed staff at the university, which employs around 5,000 people, have already been left feeling “overworked and demoralised”.

The announcement of job cuts, revealed to staff in an email from chief operating officer Simon Higson, comes as the Higher education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) said it would cut this year’s university’s budget.

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Mr Higson told staff: “The reality is that we will have less money with which to run the university,”

He added that in order to become one of Britain’s top ten universities and compete globally the university had to invest more of its resources into research and education.

Vice-chancellor, Professor Don Nutbeam revealed month how he wanted to recruit 100 more university professors during the next five years.

UNISON Branch Secretary, Adrian Dolby warned the cuts would see ten per cent of the total support staff workforce lose their jobs, and insisted the university could not function without them. He said: “We understand that these are difficult times, but I am extremely disappointed that the university has yet again chosen to make cuts to its low paid support staff.

“This announcement sends a message to our members that their work is disposable, whereas the reality is that they work in some of the most vital roles in the university.”

The proposals are set to be rubber- stamped by the university’s governing council next week.

Under the plans, three faculties and 22 schools and research centres would be turned into eight new faculties. In a statement Mr Higman said the restructuring would allow greater investment in both education and research.

He added he hoped many of the job losses would come through “normal staff turnover and redeployment”.

Mr Higman said: “We are already consulting with our staff and trade unions on the proposals and we will make every effort to avoid or minimise the need for redundancies.

“Vacancies will be filled internally wherever possible and we are looking at options involving redeployment, early retirement and voluntary severance.”

HEFCE yesterday announced the university’s funding for the next academic year would fall by £361,000.