MORE than 160 full-time staff at the University of Bradford are set to be made redundant, the Telegraph & Argus can reveal.

The job cuts come as the University experiences further budget pressures due to changes in government funding and a dwindling number of undergraduate applications.

The redundancies are being made to administrative, professional and support staff, and will see 165 jobs go, and includes some top-tier executives.

This equates to 10 per cent of the total employees at the university, and no academic staff have been affected by the redundancies.

A total of 200 staff will be made redundant by December, but 35 of these have already been agreed.

Current student numbers stand at less than 10,000.

The news follows proposals to cut up to 75 jobs which were announced by Bradford College earlier this year to save £3.5 million.

Vice Chancellor Professor Brian Cantor announced the job losses in an email to staff.

He said: “Student applicant numbers have declined and will continue to do so for the next few years.

“We have seen the removal of funding sources (such as bursaries for nursing), and the government has removed inflation increases to the home student fee.

“All of this has contributed to a much tougher operating and recruitment environment.

“With the drop in student recruitment, we must reduce in size to be operationally efficient and sustainable.

“This will require a remodelling of the University to reflect our operational and service delivery.

“Over a two year period we need to reduce the costs of professional and support service roles carried out across the University Directorates and Faculties, and in top tier management.”

The university is also merging some faculties and merging student services departments, as part of a plan to “remodel” the university.

It is also aiming to double its number of international students in the next three years.

Professor Cantor added: “Such comprehensive change will concentrate all minds and will be challenging for everyone.

“But it will enable us to become a stronger University, to compete effectively, recruit, fund and ultimately grow in the new Higher Education environment.

“We have many strengths and exciting developments underway, but it will need considerable hard work and understanding to make sure that our financial fundamentals provide a secure base for going forward.

“I am confident that our staff will all live up to this challenge.”

Prof Cantor added the University will continue to invest in academia, including the new medical school, relocating its Faculty of Management and Law, improving research opportunities, and investing in international recruitment.

One member of staff, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “We have gone from 15,000 students to 9,000.

“This is going to have a massive impact on students, it is such a shame.”

Shipley Conservative MP Philip Davies criticised the university for citing changes to government funding as a reason for the job losses.

He said: “I’m not entirely sure why they are blaming the government, if there’s one thing universities aren’t strapped for it’s cash.

“It’s pretty poor they cannot take responsibility for their own decisions.

“For student numbers, they need to look at themselves as to why people are going elsewhere.

“Obviously it’s a concern for the people affected and I hope every effort will be made to help them get a new job quickly, it will be a massive worry for them and that should be the priority.”

Imran Hussain, Labour MP for Bradford East, said: “This is an extremely disappointing decision by the University of Bradford.

“I am saddened by the prospect of compulsory redundancies at the University considering their record in standing firm against redundancies in the past.

“Staff are the heart of any organisation, and the University of Bradford must look hard at the impact this decision will have.

“Ultimately, under this Conservative Government we have seen changes to funding and rising fees and living costs that have led to declining student numbers, putting significant financial pressure on the university.

“I will be looking to meet both with staff and management at the university to see a solution to this situation, and ministers to address funding concerns.”