University students have barricaded themselves in the office of their vice chancellor in a show of solidarity for staff facing redundancy.

Staff at the University of Brighton were told earlier this month that 110 jobs will be lost in a restructuring of the workforce.

They have been given the option to take voluntary redundancy before May 30, at which point compulsory redundancies will be made to fill the gap “as a last resort”.

In an email from vice chancellor Debra Humphris, the university also said that they would be looking to “grow student numbers” despite job losses partially hitting the academic workforce.

In the email, Professor Humphris wrote: “We have already done everything we can to protect jobs wherever possible.

“However, we have reached the point where we must take difficult but necessary steps to change our staff base in certain areas.”

A University spokesman also cited “generationally high” levels of inflation in the decision to make redundancies.

But students are not happy and say the redundancies threaten their education.

They have demanded that no redundancies be made and have been holed up in the vice chancellor's office on the eigth floor of the Cockcroft building since the early hours of this morning.

The Argus: Students from the University of Brighton have put up a note citing their demandsStudents from the University of Brighton have put up a note citing their demands (Image: The University of Brighton Solidarity group)

A spokesman from the group of students, called the University of Brighton Solidarity group said: “As students, we are horrified not only at the irreparable damage that is being done to our education but particularly also for the staff who will be losing their source of income during this ongoing cost of living crisis.

“A lack of employment security nurtures an unsafe and unstable work environment. Across the country, staff have seen around a 25 per cent real-terms pay cut since 2009.

“Around 32 per cent of higher education providers were running a deficit in 2019/20. The university's complete lack of care or concern for the people whom they are most affecting by their financial mistakes to retain profit is unacceptable.

“Our staff are not disposable.

“There are students who are finding themselves in a position where the choices they have made for their futures have been either completely cut off or severely limited as certain pathways have been cancelled by the cut.

“They find themselves trapped after financially committing themselves to a course that will not run due to the university's management failures and are unable to escape."

One PhD student said: "Many PhD researchers like me are at risk of losing their entire supervisory team, as well as readers for their annual progression reviews.

“These redundancies could potentially derail their research output.”

The University of Brighton has been contacted for comment.