TEACHING staff at Aberdeen University are set to strike over cuts to language degrees.

Members of the University and College Union (UCU) at the institution voted to take the action with 80%, on a turnout of 60%, after university management announced deep cuts.

The university is set to eliminate single-honours languages degrees, including Gaelic, and floating proposals to merge several schools.

Aberdeen branch chair Dr Rachel Shanks said: "Cuts of this scale will have a serious impact on the economy locally, the student experience, and both the university and city’s reputation.

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"It is not too late for university managers to work with UCU, and others and to find alternatives that don’t involve such drastic cuts and job losses.”

Aberdeen University management's proposals to cut single-honours Gaelic degrees were announced on November 30, the same day as the Scottish Languages Bill was launched.

On December 12, the elimination of the degrees was confirmed.

UCU Aberdeen says 30 roles at the university are at risk of redundancy.

Staff undertook a consultative ballot in December, which saw 81% of staff support strike action, and 87% support action short of a strike.

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The strike ballot was opened on January 3.

Around 200 full time students are enrolled in languages courses at the university, though this figure includes both single and joint honours programmes.

Following the vote, Dr Shanks said: “UCU members at the University of Aberdeen have made it abundantly clear that senior managers need to rethink their plans to cut jobs and cut the university’s offer in languages.

"The ballot result is a mandate for industrial action and to oppose job cuts."

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A University of Aberdeen spokesperson said: “We are taking essential action to generate extra income and to make savings.

“We hope that ongoing dialogue with colleagues in Modern Languages and union representatives will mean that industrial action will not take place.

"If it does, every effort will be made to minimise the impact on students."

The spokesperson also said that the university was focused on early retirement and voluntary severance, and that the university "always seeks to avoid" compulsory redundancy.