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UCU Scotland campaigning & political work

Much of the campaign work UCU Scotland undertakes is aimed at the Scottish Parliament and political parties.

This work is underpinned by discussions with officials in the Scottish Government, the Scottish Funding Council, and other bodies. The latest news on political work can be found in UCU politics monthly - October 2013.

Scotland Referendum 2014

UCU Scotland's manifesto for Scotland's Referendum calls on all sides of the constitutional debate to outline their commitment to Scotland's universities.

UCU is calling on all sides to publicly support adequate funding for Scotland's universities, to back Scotland's four-year honours degrees and to reject student tuition fees.

The union also wants Scotland's diverse university sector to continue to have the freedom to determine its own teaching and research and reiterated its calls for an end to the use of exploitative zero-hours contracts.

There are some very important questions to be answered over the next eleven months before Scotland votes in the historic referendum. UCU looks forward to debating the key issues with all sides and encouraging our members to get involved in the discussion.

 (.pdf) file type icon Manifesto for Scotland's Referendum, Oct 13 (.pdf) [79kb]

Governance Review

See our Higher Education governance review page and help ensure management of our institutions is made fairer and more transparent.


Scottish higher education institutions are included in the UK national pay and negotiating structures. However, funding and policy for higher education is decided by the Scottish Parliament and UCU Scotland works with MSPs of all parties to influence the budget outcomes.


Though funding is fairly stable, some universities wish to cuts jobs to make savings and increase surplus. As part of the UK campaign UCU Scotland is fighting redundancies.


INTO is private company that recruits foreign students and provides educational services in IT, vocational training and language teaching, and has been in talks with Glasgow Caledonian University. UCU wants to keep private companies out of education:

Job security

As with national UCU, UCU Scotland is actively campaigning to end the use of fixed-term contracts in higher education. We have achieved significant breakthroughs to this end, aided by the Scottish Parliament, which has called for action to give contract research staff better status and job security.

In partnership with Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, UCU Scotland achieved a breakthrough agreement to convert all researchers to open-ended terms and conditions. This has now been extended to other institutions and most universities are now promising to reduce the use of fixed-term contracts.

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