A message was emailed out to students today from the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Max Lu and Students’ Union President, Jo Yau, about the increasing financial pressures the University is facing, and the proposed measures being discussed to address them:

A Message from the Vice-Chancellor

Dear Student,

In recent days, you may have heard that I have announced to our community the need for us to take measures to ensure our financial resilience and sustainability. I wanted to write to you to reassure you about the steps being taken to maintain the quality of our teaching and your student experience.

At Surrey, we are committed to delivering an outstanding experience. As a result of the actions underway, we anticipate that most students will experience little or no disruption. However, we will monitor the situation carefully.

You will have seen that challenges faced by the university sector have been widely reported in the media. We are not immune to these pressures. For example, we have seen rising costs due to high inflation, high energy costs and overall cost of living pressures. As a learning community we must ensure that we are financially sustainable and continue to be a sector-leading institution. As a result, regretfully, I have announced that we need to take proactive measures to reduce our expenditure.

We are doing this in a tailored and nuanced way across the University, including, in some areas, a voluntary severance scheme, which allows staff to apply to leave the University voluntarily in exchange for a financial payment. Any decisions to allow staff to leave will take into account both our commitment to our academic mission and the student experience you expect and deserve.

We are working closely with the Students’ Union, who are representing your concerns and informing our decision-making.

We know that any change is unsettling and, as always, our support services are available to you. You can access a range of support services by looking on MySurrey or the Support Zone on the Students’ Union website.

Best wishes,


Professor Max Lu

President and Vice-Chancellor

A Message from the Students’ Union

Last week the University announced a significant cost-cutting process that seeks to address the financial challenges facing Surrey and most other UK higher education providers. This process will initially see a voluntary severance scheme opened to many staff members at the University.

The Union’s Sabbatical Officers have been briefed about this and we understand the rationale behind this difficult decision. As a Union we are focused on protecting the student experience and quality of teaching throughout the decision-making process, and we will work with senior University staff members to understand where we can expect to see cuts.

As always, our support team is available if you are concerned about this announcement: please email ussu.advice@surrey.ac.uk. You can also find further updates and share your thoughts with us on our website.

Best wishes,

Jo Yau

Students’ Union President

We want to hear from you

As a Union, we want to hear from you if you have feedback about this process or how it will affect you. The feedback you share via this form will be fully anonymous and help inform our Sabbatical Officer team as we represent your views to the University. We will be collating all our information about this process here as well providing updates on our instagram account @surreyunion.

If you require personal support or advice as a result of this announcement, please email ussu.advice@surrey.ac.uk.

If you want to get in touch with the Union about anything else mentioned above please email ussu.information@surrey.ac.uk