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UCU welcomes University of Northumbria's decision to postpone controversial PhD teaching plans

23 June 2016

UCU has welcomed news that the University of Northumbria has postponed plans that required postgraduate students to teach as a condition of their research stipend and committed to work with the union on any changes.

The union had condemned the original proposal to make PhD students in receipt of a £14,296 stipend to support their studies teach up to 180 hours per year without additional payment as 'grossly exploitative'.

UCU said such a move would directly contradict advice from both the research councils and the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), and amount to forced unpaid labour.

UCU regional official, Iain Owens, said: 'Expecting research students to deliver over five weeks' worth of teaching, on top of their full-time research practice for no extra reward, would have been grossly exploitative and we are pleased they have postponed the move by a year and will consult with us over any new proposals.'

Last updated: 24 June 2016