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Taking action in higher education

Campaign update: 22 July 2016


Higher Education and Research bill - contact your MP to raise concerns

The Higher Education and Research Bill received its first proper debate in parliament  on Tuesday, with MPs across the political spectrum raising key concerns outlined in UCU's briefings.  Shadow higher education minister Gordon Marsden echoed our call  or a delay on the bill in light of Brexit, as well as highlighting the major concerns in relation to challenger providers, TEF-linked tuition fee rises and the lack of representation for staff and students within the proposals. The bill will now be scrutinised by a committee of MPs in the autumn, and UCU will continue to brief politicians and provide evidence over the summer.

Further action:

After Brexit, help UCU defend EU nationals

UCU has continued to press government on the need to guarantee the rights of European Union (EU) staff and students to stay in the UK following the Brexit vote. The campaign has been boosted today by Goldsmiths  who have become the first major higher education (HE) institution to directly support the union's call. Last week Sally Hunt set out four key demands of government in light of the Brexit vote: to allow EU nationals working here to stay; to ensure that lost EU funding for universities is replaced; to drop the HE bill and establish an inquiry into the impact of Brexit; and to set out a positive public discourse on immigration.

Other news this week

1. In the news

  • Controversial Higher Education and Research Bill progresses in parliament
  • Robert Halfon and Jo Johnson appointed ministers in new department for education
  • Universities start advertising higher tuition fees before government gives the green light for increases
  • UCU calls on Turkish authorities to end academic freedom violations
  • Summer holiday reading lists

Read all about it here
2. Demonstrate against cuts and union victimisation at London Metropolitan University

There will be a national demonstration tomorrow Saturday 23 July  to protest against the 395 job cuts announced in May and to fight for the reinstatement of victimised reps Mark Campbell and David Hardman. Please gather at 11.30 by the Tower Building on Holloway Road N7 for a march to Highbury Fields at midday. The nearest tube stations are Holloway Road and Highbury & Islington (London overground rail also stops here). You can also support Mark and David by joining the Thunderclap social media campaign.

3. Further education (FE) pay in England

This briefing provides an update on progress of the National Joint Forum pay talks with the Association of Colleges and next steps in the FE England pay campaign.
UCUBANFE2 (.pdf) | UCUBANFE2 (.rtf)

4. UCU calls on the Turkish authorities to cease repressive actions against education employees

In the fallout from the failed military coup, the Turkish government has suspended more than 15,000 education workers and more than 1500 university deans have been forced to resign.  UCU has written to the Turkish Embassy [46kb]  to set out its concerns about workers' rights, academic freedom and institutional autonomy.

Last updated: 1 April 2019