Job losses at the University of Aberdeen

Aberdeen University are calling for voluntary redundancies in a bid to save money. At this stage it is just voluntary but typically in these situations, if enough people don’t volunteer, they progress to forced redundancies. The physical sciences and mathematics are usually fairly safe so I think the chances of Ben losing his job are quite small, but it still got me thinking about what we’d do if it did happen. Financially we would be fine since I work and earn enough for us to live off. But we would have to leave the UK since I am only allowed to work here through a spousal visa from Ben and his visa was sponsored by the University of Aberdeen.

Where would we go? I don’t want to live anywhere else. I love it here. I love Scotland and I love living in the UK. It seems so fruitless to force us to move since I would be taking my job with me. It’s not like it would become available for a British citizen. I would simply take it and the tax I pay to whichever country we move to. But where would we go? I don’t want to live in New Zealand and Australia is too hot.

I had our piano tuned yesterday and the piano tuner told me I was the first Australian he had ever met who moved to Scotland for the climate. I love the climate here: it’s so mild. It’s not very cold and it never gets really hot. It’s perfect practically all year round and I can cycle everyday of the year at any time of day. It’s impossible to cycle in the middle of the day in a hot country as it’s unbearably hot.

If you could live in any country in the world, which would you choose?


  1. The piano tuner’s comment made me laugh. As for your question about choice of country, I have no idea because I haven’t visited many places. I can cope with dry heat and cold winters. I can’t bear humidity and I could well do without short winter days. If anyone can recommend somewhere with my weather preferences that’s also a lovely place to live, please let me know. 🙂

  2. Oops Rachel. That is not good news and I hope it will be alright for you.

    I don’t know enough about other countries but I would take a guess and settle for some quiet corner of Europe. NZ is getting crowded.

    1. Yes, I’d prefer to stay in Europe but we wouldn’t be allowed to. If I had to leave Scotland but was allowed to move to the continent then I’d probably choose Denmark.

  3. Will you get some residency stability once you have stayed here a bit longer? Or will your lives in the UK always be linked with Ben being sponsored by a University? It does seem that Scotland is perfect for you and would be very sad if you had to leave.

    1. I’m not sure exactly on the particulars but I think we have to be here for 5 years before we can apply for permanent residency so at least until then, we are dependent on Ben’s visa. Once we’ve been here for 6 years (I think!) we can apply for citizenship.

  4. I hope Ben’s job is safe. It is worrying when they start with redundancies – but like you say, why employ him only to let him go?
    I also like UK to live in – with maybe a little more sunlight! CT is pretty good, but there is much less serious crime in Europe.

      1. They probably hope to remove enough via voluntary early retirement. My Dad retired at 55, because of these sort of retrenchments in teaching. He worked all the money out, and found it actually paid to retire then. And of course, then he had free time, which was great 🙂

    1. Thanks. It’ll be a couple of months before we hear anything I expect as they’ll wait to see how many people volunteer first. Scotland is a great place to live.

  5. “Australia is too hot” Tasmania!

    Hopefully Ben’s job will be fine. Given how these things work generally, the concern would be about subsequent rounds. But is this even the first?

    All you Brits be sure to vote Green, BTW. Oddly enough, for a bunch of hippies they seem more interested in science and higher education generally than the other parties.

    1. Tassie would probably be my first choice but it still gets really hot there in summer and I’m talking +40C days. I don’t want to live anywhere that hot.

      It is the first round as far as I’m aware and was totally unexpected. Ben is not the only person who recently took up a new job in the mathematics department. They just hired quite a few new people.

  6. I concur – Tasmania – the best place in the world, particularly the Huon Valley, but maybe I am a little bit biased.
    Hope your hubby keeps his job, and you get to stay where you want to be.

      1. We had a really strange summer here, some days warm, a couple “hot” (over 30) and some cold ones too but nothing consistent. I imagine Scotland as being cold, all the time, even in Summer, and I wouldn’t like that. I’m sure Scotland isn’t cold in summer, it’s just my perception. 🙂

      2. I think 26C here would be a very hot day for summer. I’m not keen on anything over 21C personally so the climate here suits me well.

  7. I guess I could live in several places but cant imagine not calling here – London – home. Edinburgh rather than the granite city for me, Bristol or Bath if I went west and somewhere like Bakewell if I went north but not Scotland. Abroad, well I’d give NZ a go, probably Auckland because I prefer cities, or Wellington. America is easy too – San Francisco – maybe Seattle. Vancouver or Victoria in Canada…. I’m quite flexible really…

    1. I could live in all those places in the UK but none of the cities you chose outside of it because they’re all on the plate boundary and I’ve had enough of earthquakes for this lifetime.

      1. Ah got you. Yes my only experince of earthquakes is a demented cheese plant looking like it was possessed after Derby was struck by a 3 point something a few years back. Seemed spooky until we heard the reason. And the only death from an earthquake in the UK I think was in Edinburgh when a brick fell on someone

  8. I was going to write Huon valley area of tastier too. Just came back from there. Very pretty and suitably chilly 😉

  9. Hope Ben’s job is safe Rachel, long enough for you all to remain here permanently but that takes some years I’m guessing? When I lived here with my American husband, we had to be married and living here for 2 years before he could claim that. Maybe it’s longer now, I don’t know. I know what you mean about the weather, you should have seen people’s faces in California when I told them I was sick of the heat and blue skies and wanted rain. They thought I was completely nuts. I had one friend there who felt the same way as me. Of course, now they are desperate for rain over there, a really bad drought and no signs of abating from what I can understand. I miss California for many reasons, a huge part of my life there and the memories I have of my life as a young mum enjoying life to the fullest with my kids, but I was homesick the entire time as you know for England and now I’m happy to be here, with my Somerset man and grown kids 😉 I really hope things work out for you too Rachel and you get to stay here but I also know you are a very resourceful person and will thrive wherever you are…barring anywhere that has earthquakes of course.

    1. Thanks, Sherri. I’m sure it will be fine. I agree with you and love experiencing the seasons and I’ve also had enough hot days with blue skies to last me a couple of lifetimes.

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