MORE than £11.5 million was dished out to staff in voluntary redundancy packages in the wake of the merger of the former University of Wales, Newport, and the University of Glamorgan.

According to figures released by the recently formed University of South Wales (USW), in July last year 261 members of staff took voluntary redundancy from the new institution, costing £11,768,702.10, an average pay out of £45,000.

It is not clear from the figures, which were released following a Freedom of Information request, which of these staff formerly worked at which organisation.

But the figures do show that in the three years prior to the merger, 52 Newport staff were made to take compulsory redundancy at a cost of £778,692.82 – the highest individual payment being £30,000.

This compares to 59 staff being given compulsory redundancy and 91 people taking voluntary redundancy from the former Glamorgan university, at a total cost of £2,307,501.59.

A spokeswoman for USW said Glamorgan had a voluntary redundancy scheme in place long before the merger as a result of a restructure, but that wasn’t in place at the original Newport institution.

USW has more than 33,000 students and five campuses in Newport, Caerleon, Glyntaff, Treforest and Cardiff.

The university did not reveal how much the single highest individual payment was within the £11 million-worth of payouts in July last year, as it could identify the individual concerned, but in the three years prior to the merger, individual payments at Glamorgan reached £34,000 in 2010/11, and £51,543 in 2011/12 and 2012/13.

The spokeswoman said: “Severance agreements for staff in July last year were essential for the new university to swiftly deliver enhanced services to our students.”