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Professional issues in higher education
As the key voice of practitioners in higher education UCU seeks to influence education policy, campaigns for adequate funding for the sector and works for a high quality learning and research environment in every institution.
Teacher education under attack: a UCU campaign briefing
Teacher education in higher education has a long and proud history. Now it faces a fundamental attack that will cause long-term damage to the quality of teacher education in England. This new briefing looks at what's happening and what you can do.
Response to Risk-Based Quality Assurance Consultation
UCU has responded to the consultation on a risk-based quality assurance system in England. Amongst other things our response argued that for-profit corporate forms be treated automatically as high risk and regulated accordingly, with a distinctive set of regulatory processes and checks applying. A new risk-based approach was one of the recommendations of the 2011 HE White Paper. For more on UCU's response to the White Paper, go to http://whitepaper.web.ucu.org.uk/.
Response to UK Quality Code for Higher Education
UCU has responded to the Learning and Teaching chapter of the QAA consultation on the UK Quality Code for Higher Education. Our response stressed the importance of involving staff in the quality assurance process, the key role of trade unions in negotiating probation and promotion procedures and the value of comprehensive CPD programmes for all. In addition, it highlighted the danger of reduced public funding for teaching on the quality of student learning opportunities.
Updated REF code of practice guidance
UCU has updated its guidance on the REF codes of practice which identifies best practice and key principles that branches/LAs should seek to include in codes of practice being developed by their HEIs prior to the 31 July deadline. Click here for this and more on the REF
UCU's Response to the DfE Consultation on Initial Teacher Education
UCU responded to the Department of Education's consultation, Training Outstanding Teachers on 29 July 2011. UCU is completely opposed to any wholesale shift of ITE away from the currently highly successful HEI-school partnership model which received the best OfSTED evaluation ever in the HMI Annual Report 2010.
Postgraduate research funding - UCU response
UCU has responded to the HEFCE consultation on postgraduate research funding. In the response we raised concerns about the proposals to further concentrate doctoral funding in a small number of higher education institutions. We also called for an open, evidence-led debate on the future of UK research and postgraduate research funding, including the current drift towards 'hyper-concentration'.
New review on external examiners is 'missed opportunity'
Public information about HE - UCU response
Broken research funding promise
UCU has said the government was showing 'disgraceful neglect' towards universities and the academic community after it announced plans for the future of university research funding.
Universities minister, David Willetts, delayed the announcement after a campaign led by UCU to scrap a proposal that would see 25% of future research to be assessed on 'economic impacts'. But UCU said he had broken his promise to listen to academics as the government announced that the impact element will still be a key part of how research quality is assessed. Under the new framework the three elements being assessed will be weighted as such - output 65%, impact 20% and environment 15%.
Changes to the QAA's 'Academic Infrastructure'
UK professional standards framework in higher education
UCU joins the campaign to reform the English libel law
The union is represented on a number of educational bodies and offers advice to members on a range of professional issues. In this area you will find information on this work listed by topic below.
UCU has also brought together advice and policy published by its predecessor unions, AUT and NATFHE. If you require any further advice please contact Rob Copeland.