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UCU Scotland policy

UCU Scotland is actively involved in helping to shape all aspects of Scottish higher education.

The main policy-making body for UCU Scotland is the annual Congress. The UCU Scotland Executive is charged with implementing this policy.

We are especially involved with trying to shape future policy on higher education and related funding decisions.

Funding of higher education

Scottish universities have a world-class reputation, but they can only maintain and build on that standard if they are adequately funded. Universities have to be funded to the same level as the UK's competing nations if they are to succeed at the heart of Scotland's knowledge economy. Funds for higher education are an investment in Scotland's future job and wealth creation.

Staff: the key resource

The key activities of universities rely on their highly qualified academic and related staff, and their roles in teaching, learning and research. Pay needs to be significantly increased to reward and retain these staff and attract postgraduates. In line with the European fixed-term directive, permanent employment should be the norm. The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) must ensure that job security is established and all forms of pay discrimination eliminated.

Student finance and access

The present Scottish system for student finance including the absence of tuition fees is preferable to that elsewhere in the UK. UCU Scotland is opposed to the use of up-front fees, top-up fees or student quotas and the student finance system should be extended to include part-time students. More needs to be done to widen access to higher education for all who can benefit.

Governance

We welcome the introduction on the 2015 Higher Education Governance (Scotland) Bill in the Scottish Parliament. The bill aims to make governance arrangements in the sector more democratic, transparent and accountable. We are committed to ensuring that the knowledge and experience of our members makes the bill the best that it can be and will work alongside the Scottish Government, politicians of all parties and stakeholders to ensure this happens.


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