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UCU tells MPs that job security is vital for teaching quality

1 December 2015

UCU today told MPs that proposed measures to improve teaching quality would fail unless more was done to tackle job insecurity and ensure decent working conditions for staff.

Giving oral evidence to the influential Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee, the union also outlined concerns about the use of metrics as a 'blunt instrument' to measure teaching quality.

Speaking after giving evidence, 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. 

'We have real concerns about the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), including what measures would be used to assess teaching quality. Using metrics which measure, for example, graduate earnings or drop-out rates, will only reinforce already existing inequalities.

'Quality teaching is underpinned by the creation of a decent working environment and conditions for teachers themselves and if politicians are serious about the quality of teaching they must act to tackle the widespread job insecurity and endemic casualisation that still blights the university sector. Good teaching also needs to be properly recognised in academic career structures.'

Last updated: 10 December 2015