Fighting fund banner


Hands over mouth

UCU lodges academic freedom allegation

Following a major report on academic freedom, UCU has submitted an allegation to the Joint ILO/UNESCO Committee of Experts regarding the UK's government's non-compliance with the 1997 UNESCO recommendation on the status of higher education teaching personnel.

The UCU submission - supported by Education International - focuses on inadequate protections for academic freedom (both in law and in practice) and we will keep members informed of developments with the allegations process.


The Joint Committee of Experts of UNESCO and the International Labour Organization has now reported, and has recognised that the growth in casualised contracts in higher education is undermining academic freedom and therefore 'one of the fundamental pillars of excellence in teaching and research'. It called on the UK government to address growing employment insecurity among higher education staff, including by 'enhancing policy measures that safeguard tenure or its functional equivalent'.

Read the full story here.

This UCU briefing paper summarises the key sections in the CEART report [175kb], including important recommendations on issues such as university governance and quality assurance.

March 2022