Operational Review

Operational Review Update – 27 May 2015

These pages have been created to inform University of Surrey students about the Operational Review that was launched in March 2015. An overview of the current situation is set out below. Further information can be found on the dedicated Frequently Asked Questions document and within the Operational Review section on the University intranet, SurreyNet

Dear Student,

The information here is designed to bring you up to date with the Operational Review.

The Consultation Period for consideration of the plans announced to the University in March 2015 at the launch of the Operational Review has come to an end, and we have now finalised our proposals. These final proposals have been shared with staff over the past two weeks and shared with Course Reps, and noted in an e-mail from me to all students sent last week. I am very grateful to the Course Reps I have met over the past few days to discuss the outcomes of the Consultation Period. I am grateful for their interest and at times their challenge; and I hope that now the information that was shared at those meetings is successfully reaching you.

I also should note that we are very grateful for the comments we received during the Consultation Period. We received comments from all parts of the University (and from outside it) including a number of very useful suggestions from the student community. Many of our final decisions have been made taking these into account.

The Key Headlines at the end of the Consultation Period

The key headlines are:

1. Staffing

We started with the need to reduce costs and to cut staffing levels by approximately 100 posts, however I can now confirm that there will be no compulsory redundancies. We have reached our savings target through careful management of vacancies and by agreeing a number of enhanced voluntary severance settlements with colleagues who have made a decision to leave the University.

In light of this, we can confirm that the dispute between UCU and the University has been settled and there will be no strike action, allowing all examinations to go ahead as planned.

In addition to these changes, there are also a number of changes taking place within faculties and support areas.

2. A new Faculty

There will also be a new Faculty – the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, which will be formed by the merger of FAHS and FBEL.


  • As noted, FAHS will merge with FBEL to form a new Faculty
  • Psychology will move from FAHS to FHMS.
  • Music - A revised curriculum for Music will be developed providing a framework for the delivery of high quality and contemporary music programmes. This reflects the content of excellent counter proposals received from staff and students.
  • Politics will retain its Department status within the School of Social Sciences and will continue to run its PGR programmes. Current UG and PGT programmes will also run, although with some minor modifications to the range of UG modules on offer.
  • Languages - There are plans to grow the Centre for Translation Studies and other changes outlined in the original proposals will be implemented, with some minor alterations.


  • As noted, FBEL will merge with FAHS to form a new Faculty
  • Surrey Business School will be restructured into four Departments, grouped around core teaching and research strengths with addition of a new Centre for Management Learning and Leadership.


  • Electronic Engineering will become the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.
  • A separate review of Computing is underway and will be undertaken outside of the Operational Review process working to its own timetable.


  • The School of Biosciences and Medicine will see changes to the departmental sub-structure. There will also be investment in areas of research strength and disinvestment in other areas.
  • In the FHMS Technical Support Team there will be some changes to the support for Core Technologies and Facilities, making them faculty-wide resources and removing duplication.

7. Support areas

  • A new Directorate called the Student Services and Administration will be formed by merging Academic Registry, the Faculty Registries and Student Support Services.
  • Whilst most staff in Student Services and Administration will be centrally based, the following Faculty Student Services hubs will offer localised support to students and staff:
    • Student Services FASS
    • Student Services FEPS
    • Student Services FHMS

These Student Services hubs will replace the Faculty Registries from the start of next academic year, and they will provide the support previously offered by the Faculty Registries. We will write more about the new Faculty Student Services hubs at a later date when we launch them properly.

  • Employability and Careers – Over the summer, Professional Training Year administrators will relocate to the Philip Marchant building to sit alongside the Careers Service. This will help in bringing all student employability services together.

For full details on the final outcomes of the Operational Review, please go to the relevant webpages on SurreyNet.

Next steps

I fully recognise that the past few weeks may have been unsettling for both students and staff as the consultation has progressed. Therefore, I am glad that we are now through to the next stage of the process and I hope that the clarity we now have on the future direction will be helpful for all concerned.

We will now work to implement these changes and plan for these to be completed by the start of the new 2015/16 academic year. I will write to update students of progress when appropriate.

On-going help and information

Although we are now through the Consultation Period, if you continue to have a questions or concerns about the Operational Review you can continue to raise these by means of any of the below:

  • Email – please email any questions to ask@surrey.ac.uk
  • Student Services Centre – if you would like to talk to someone face-to-face, staff in the Student Services Centre will be able to help with queries
  • Faculty Registrars – feel free to speak to your Faculty Registrar with any queries
  • University Students’ Union Sabbatical Officers and Course Representatives – you can continue to feed concerns in to the USSU Sabbatical Officers and your respective Course Representative so that they can represent you in their conversations with University staff

Dr David Ashton
Vice-President and Registrar


The previous information on this page can be found here.