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Website URL : http://www.ucu.org.uk/1788
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The Life Changers

UCU is proud of every single one of our 120,000 members, and we want to tell the world why.

Every one who has been through further or higher education has a story to tell about the staff who made it possible, about the people who opened up a new area of knowledge, persuaded them that they could achieve more and in the words of one student 'switched a light on' which once illuminated never goes off. It is a received wisdom that knowledge is power. UCU members prove that knowledge shared is more powerful still.

The Life Changers campaign will tell the human story behind the people who work in further and higher education and will focus upon:

  • The individual stories that show the passion our members have to improve the life chances of millions of students every year, whether in colleges, prisons, adult institutes or universities.
  • The ambition our members have for students from all backgrounds.
  • The commitment our members have to the principle of never giving up on education and the need to fund genuine lifelong learning for all in the community.
  • The ground-breaking research our university members do that changes and improves our understanding of the world we all live in.
  • The care that our academic-related members take to ensure that students pastoral needs are looked after and that their place of study has the infrastructure to allow them to do their best.

We believe that life changers need and deserve the support of politicians, policy makers and the public and that more resources are needed to enable us to do our job properly. As champions of education - as life changers - we oppose cuts in adult learning provision, closures of university departments, the increased casualisation of this most committed of workforces and the endemic comparatively low staff pay that blights post-16 education.

UCU will continue to campaign on all these issues but we also recognise that if we are to create the climate where we can gain public support for 'our' causes we must explain to government and the wider public just how important our members are, and what we actually do.

The UCU-Endsleigh Life Changers' awards 2007

The Life Changers' campaign awards 2007 received nominations representing almost every constituency of the union. Nominations came from across the UK, across further and adult education, pre- and post-92 higher education, academic and academic-related staff.

UCU-Endsleigh-Thompsons Life Changer award winners 2007 : photo of the UCU-Endsleigh-Thompsons Life Changer award winners 2007The winners were presented with their awards at an event on Wednesday 16 May 2007. The evening celebrated the amazing work, courage and life changing achievements of university staff and students.

 (.pdf) file type icon You can read their inspirational stories here. (.pdf) [1.3Mb]

 (.pdf) file type icon You can also read where the winners chose to award their Life Changer grant. (.pdf) [158kb]

See also: Power of education unleashed through UCU's first Life Changer grants

Support the life changers

If you want to help us in this campaign you can do three things straight away:

With your support we can shift the debate about further and higher education. What we do is extraordinary. It makes a difference. Help us to tell the story.

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