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Education International

23 March 2007

UCU is a member of the global union federation Education International (EI), which represents over 30 million teachers, researchers and education workers worldwide, in 384 organisations in 169 countries and territories.

Education International website

UCU is represented on the European Higher Education and Research committee of EI which meets twice a year. This committee has a track record of dealing effectively with the international issues affecting higher education in Europe as detailed below.

EI makes policy at its World Congress which takes place every three years. It provides an opportunity for representatives of member organisations from all over the world to meet and consider the major issues affecting their organisations.

The 2nd UNESCO world conference on higher education was held in Paris in July 2009. Education International sent a strong delegation including then president Alastair Hunter and senior national official Paul Bennett, both from UCU. The conference affirmed the importance of higher education and research as a public good and urged the maintenance of academics' career opportunities, conditions and academic freedom in the face of growing threats from the world recession. EI's statement to the conference is available here:  EI Statement to UNESCO World Conference Jul 09 [219kb]

In partnership with other unions involved in post-school education around the world, we have a strong track record of putting key issues on the EI global agenda. In recent years, these include a motion which led to detailed work on globalisation and GATS as it affected higher education, and a motion on brain drain which lead EI to take the matter up at a global level. Proposals have also been made to implement work on similar trends in vocational education and there is continuing work on staff and student mobility.

For examples of EI's work in higher education, go to:

UCU has also worked to support and widen EI's equality agenda, and has participated in EI's appeals and campaigning work. Details of this work can be found on the EI website.

Last updated: 9 June 2022