'INTO' privatisation rejected by 94% of voters at Goldsmiths College

31 October 2008 | last updated: 14 December 2015

Staff and students at Goldsmiths College have issued a resounding rejection of proposals to privatise the recruitment and teaching of international students.

In an online poll hosted by UCU, staff and students were asked what effect they thought a joint venture would have on the academic reputation of the college.

A total of 764 staff and students at Goldsmiths participated with:

  • 720 (94%) of those voting saying a joint venture with INTO would adversely affect its academic reputation
  • 702 (92%) saying they thought it would adversely affect the College's reputation as an employer.

The online poll forms part of the campaign by 'Goldsmiths United Against INTO' which unites staff and students' unions on the campus against the threatened privatisation.

A similar poll at Essex University, in which 90% of voting staff said that the university would be damaged by a joint venture with INTO led to that university announcing on 7 October they would not be proceeding with a joint venture.

A previous UCU campaign at Oxford Brookes also led to the withdrawal of that university from negotiations with INTO.

Following the announcement of the result, Goldsmiths UCU president Des Freedman has written to warden Geoffrey Crossick asking him to respect the views of staff and students and call a halt to negotiations with the company.

Commenting on the result at Goldsmiths, UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said: 'This result shows that whenever and wherever university staff are asked they are overwhelmingly against these joint ventures which privatise academic departments and reduce staff working conditions.

'Goldsmiths is a special place with a unique ethos and I hope that the warden will listen to the college community and join the growing number of universities to reject privatisation.

'With staff and student opinion so clearly against privatisation it is now time for those who aspire to lead the sector nationally like Universities UK and employers' body UCEA to come off the fence and oppose privatisation and the worsening of staff terms and conditions.'