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UCU response to Jo Johnson speech

9 September 2015

Universities minister Jo Johnson delivered a speech to the annual Universities UK conference this morning.

Responding to the speech UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said:

'Everybody agrees that teaching, alongside high quality research, should be at the heart of higher education. Our high standards are one of the reasons so many overseas students continue to choose to study here. 

'If the minister wishes to facilitate further improvement he needs to avoid creating a false battle between research and teaching and eliminate the problems of widespread job insecurity, and the low pay and status of academic staff, despite our excellent global reputation.  

'The reality is that over two-fifths of university teaching staff are on temporary or zero-hours contracts. Academic pay has fallen by more than 15% since 2009 and promotions, particularly at a senior level, focus on research.'

Last updated: 10 December 2015