Hospitality Business Magazine

‘No changes’ to AUT Hospitality & Tourism School

Auckland University of Technology has announced to staff that a post-COVID recovery programme could result in up to 230 job losses, however, Alison Sykora, AUT Director of Communications says all of the changes are proposed at the moment, and no decisions have been made.

“There are no changes proposed that relate specifically to the School of Hospitality and Tourism.”

The University currently has 4,354 staff including the equivalent of 2,178 full time permanent and fixed term employees.

Along with much of the tertiary sector, AUT has seen a significant drop in international students due to the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns, and border closures, alongside growing inflation, and economic pressures.

Domestic student enrolments are down in 2022 due to a buoyant employment market and the increasing number of school leavers needing to go into the workforce for economic reasons, says AUT.

“AUT’s fundamentals are sound but we have a responsibility to ensure we continue to meet the needs of our current and future students,” said Vice-Chancellor Damon Salesa.

The proposal is recommending a review of areas of non-core activity, and a review of administration and support operations to minimise duplication as well as the closure of a small number of declining programmes and courses.

Student impact will be minimised, and the aim is to communicate any changes to courses and programmes to students by the end of November this year.

“AUT is unique – we offer excellence and opportunity to people from all walks of life. Our students and our research contribution are at the centre of what we do, and the proposals are to ensure our future sustainability so we can deliver what our students, our city, and our country need,” said Vice-Chancellor Salesa.

AUT made a commitment to keep staff during the uncertain times of COVID-19 lockdowns and was able to do this. The proposal is the first of its kind in the University’s 22-year history.

“This is a difficult time for AUT, and we are focusing on caring for and consulting with our staff so that our way forward is the right one,” said Vice-Chancellor Salesa.

AUT reportedly made a $12.866 million surplus in 2021, following on from a $12.393 surplus in 2020.