The jobs cuts and planned course closures at Kingston following the KSA and Politics ‘consultations’ made it onto the front page of the Surrey Comet again in July.
As noted, ‘Staff have described the mental health impact of losing their livelihoods during a pandemic, in which they have made exceptional efforts to teach and support students, as “inhumane”. They’ve described the consultation process as a “sham” in which none of the issues raised over errors and omissions in the rationale, or counter proposals put forwards, were engaged with, and substantive decisions had already been taken.’
The response from the university ‘spokesperson’ fails to even mention the decision to axe History, or the fact all remaining historians face compulsory redundancy, nor that staff in Media & Communications and Film Studies have lost valued colleagues to voluntary severance and now face intensified workloads.
As Steve Woodbridge, Senior Lecturer in History states, “The decision to axe all history provision flies in the face of promises the University made to retain a history ‘footprint’ and ensure future engagement with the study of history. The University has also completely ignored the voices of national organisations who represent the history profession and who expressed their concern at Kingston’s plans, such as History UK and the Royal Historical Society.”
The Royal Historical Society themselves have followed up their initial announcement on the threats to History courses in post-1992 universities with a strong statement explicitly decrying Kingston’s decision to permanently withdraw History provision, the consequences for History staff, and the reputational impact of these cuts, noting “We are all the poorer for the loss of this hub of historical excellence”. Here is the statement in full: