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UCU Scotland says SFC must reduce emphasis on employability in Corporate Plan

12 March 2009

UCU Scotland today called on the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) to drastically alter its draft corporate plan and called for a longer consultation period. The union said it was concerned about an over emphasis on employability and called for a broader social and educational perspective.

UCU added that it was unhappy that the timing of the consultation seemed to have been driven by a government decree that all public bodies prepare new corporate or business plans by 31 March 2009 and warned that the corporate plan will be rendered meaningless as the SFC will have to consult on plans for new funding streams anyway arising from the Taskforce report.

Tony Axon, UCU Scotland spokesperson, said: 'We are concerned that the plan's focus on a business case does not address the wider role of core activities in our universities such as teaching, research and learning. The draft SFC approach is far too limited, focusing as it does only on the quality and efficiency of the universities and colleges themselves. The SFC should be supporting the most effective use of university research to inform and promote a high quality, evidence-based public policy process in Scotland.

'The timescale for consultation on the plan was inadequate but in any case it will all need to be reconsidered in the light of the necessary SFC consultations on the new funding stream and the role it is developing in the response to New Horizons.

'Equalities should be given greater emphasis within the plan and despite some recent appointments of women to the position of Principal, senior management is still dominated by pale, stale males. The SFC will have to give a lead in ensuring these challenges are taken seriously by institutional management.'

UCU Scotland submitted a response to the consultation that called for 'the right balance in meeting the needs of the learner and Scotland's economic, cultural and social needs'. 

Last updated: 11 December 2015