A large crowd gathered outside the Main Arts building this afternoon to protest against the proposed cuts at Bangor University.

The university has warned it needs to save £5m this year and could potentially make up to 60 job cuts and also close the Chemistry Department.

The protest was organised in an attempt to force the university to cancel its current cut plans and seek alternative avenues, safeguard the jobs of lecturers and other university staff and protect the Chemistry course; while increasing transparency of information and decision making between upper management, staff and students.

Several speeches were made by university students, members of the students union and local politicians Rhun ap Iorwerth AM for Ynys Mon and Hywel Williams MP for Arfon.

Rhun ap Iorwerth said: “The worry here is where those cuts are being made, more than anything, and fears here that the standard of teaching will fall if the wrong decisions are made regarding the cuts to jobs and lecturing positions.

“I’m pleased to have come here and said a few words, and to say of course, the pennies of the miners paid for this university originally and we need to make sure that the investment from years ago, continues to be an investment in quality higher education in Bangor for many years to come.

“I will continue to discuss with the university itself to make sure that the student voice is being heard.

“I will also be meeting the lectureres to discuss their concerns and at the same time pressurising the Welsh Government to make sure that Higher Education is funded properly.

“I’ll push to make sure Wales gets its fair share of research funding, that is the sector under siege at present, going through a very difficult period. We must secure its future.

“I’m very grateful to the students in Bangor for raising their voices, their voice must be heard.”

Event organiser Owen J Hurcum said: “It has felt great to know that so many students feel so strongly about this, with such a response I’m hopeful the University will have to listen to our combined voice.

“It shows exactly what students think of the University. Namely, they feel that the Gold standard service they are currently getting is worth fighting to keep. I don’t think every University could boast that its student body would be prepared to protest to keep their lecturers.

“Hopefully we have sent a strong message to the Uni that we won’t back down fighting these cuts!”

Photos: David Wiglesworth