Buckinghamshire New University has been forced to defend itself after offering its staff voluntary "severance packages" and suspending courses in a bid to make savings.

Vice-chancellor at the university, professor Rebecca Bunting, has assured staff it is not launching a redundancy scheme and there are not a specific number of roles they are hoping to reduce.

The university was quick to quash allegations that staff would be made redundant if too few people applied for a severance package.

Professor Bunting said: "Along with all other institutions in the country, we must be as efficient as we can which means making savings wherever possible to ensure we deliver the best value for our students.

“As part of this ongoing process, we have launched a scheme for staff to apply to leave the employment of the University in return for a severance payment. This is not a redundancy scheme and we do not have a fixed number of posts that we are seeking to reduce.”

She also added that course suspensions will only affect “a small number of undergraduate courses” offered to new students next year, and a new range of degree apprenticeships will be launched in September.

The Students' Union said it is still waiting for more information on the severance scheme however vowed to “work hard to ensure that the student experience is protected”.