A lack of Scottish Government funding has played a part in the financial crisis engulfing the University of Dundee, according to its principal.
It comes amid talks which could lead to job cuts as the institution attempts to make savings to the tune of £56 million.
Late last year the university put forward plans to merge its social sciences and humanities and social work schools.
The plans could mean 34 out of 227 full-time jobs will be lost on campus, with the institution saying it is hopeful this can be found through voluntary redundancies.
And while the Covid-19 pandemic has played a significant part in the university’s financial woes, its principal says that a lack of funding from central government in recent years has led to the crisis.
In a letter seen by the Tele Professor Iain Gillespie said: “Two successive Audit Scotland reports have shown that the level of funding provided by the Scottish Government (through the Scottish Funding Council) to teach the nation’s students has for many years fallen significantly below the full costs associated with delivery.
“They have similarly demonstrated that the funding we receive for our research also falls well below its full cost, despite the world‐leading nature of much of the research we do and the positive impacts it delivers for society and the economy.”
“The university has in place a comprehensive redundancy avoidance policy and is committed to genuine and meaningful consultation with the campus unions and to do all that we can to a compulsory redundancies.
“However, to make the necessary savings, we are not able to rule out the possibility that a compulsory redundancy programme may be required.”
His letter further states the university estimates the financial impact of the pandemic amounts to more than £26m since last March.
His comments come amid pleas for the Scottish Government to step in to ensure campus bosses are not forced to make cuts.
Councillor Richard McCready said: “I will be meeting with the university to ensure that they hear my concerns about the proposals which they have put forward. I want to reiterate that as a trade unionist I am opposed to compulsory redundancies. I am particularly opposed to them being used at what appears to be a very early stage of negotiations.
“I will also be calling on the Scottish Government to properly fund Dundee University and university education in general. I am waiting on a response from Richard Lochhead MSP, the minister for higher education, on the Scottish Government’s position on the issue of job losses at Dundee University.”
The Scottish Government was approached for comment