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University of Essex to implement pay freeze for staff; cites 38% decline of international student applications  

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University of Essex VC

The University of Essex (UoE) has stated its intention to implement a pay freeze for its staff due to a significant 38% decline in international postgraduate applications. 

The Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof Anthony Forster announced this through an email stating that promotions and pay reviews would be postponed immediately. 

In addition, this means that the nationally agreed pay award for staff might be delayed for up to 11 months. 

Consequently, university staff express concerns as their institution grapples with an anticipated budget shortfall of nearly £14 million, as ThePressNG learns for the upcoming year. 

 Professor Anthony Forster, the vice chancellor of the university stated that as a result of this situation, there might be a potential shortfall in next year’s budget: 

He however clarified that the decline in applications from international postgraduate students was not specific to Essex but rather a widespread issue affecting the entire sector. 

Lorcan Whitehead, co-president of the University and College Union at UoE, said: 

The VC believes the drop in international students may be due to a combination of government visa policies and the university’s recruitment strategy. Claudia Bradley, a third-year journalism student, also agrees saying: 

In a statement, the university representatives expressed concern over the uncertainty surrounding international recruitment at the postgraduate taught level, echoing the situation faced by other UK universities. 

They noted that if student enrollments exceed current predictions, several financial decisions could be reconsidered. Additionally, they clarified that there are no plans to initiate voluntary severance or compulsory redundancy schemes, and based on their three-year forecast, a return to a growth trajectory seems probable. 

Regardless, The Department for Education has affirmed its commitment to the higher education sector saying, 

 

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