UCU comment on A-level results

18 August 2016

UCU today congratulated students and their teachers on A-level results. The union said the impressive results were a testament to the hard work of students and their staff.

UCU said that the time had come for a proper debate on higher education and how it is funded. The government has recently announced plans to make studying even more expensive, while the Labour party has adopted UCU plans to increase corporation tax to make business contribute to the cost of university.

Addressing students who will now be looking for a place through clearing, the union said students should not feel under pressure to take a place and properly explore their options. UCU is also encouraging students to look deeper into what they can expect from their institution and is targeting them via Facebook adverts.

The adverts take students to a website which tells them how much more male academics earn, on average, compared to female academics at the institution, and what percentage of teaching staff are on casual contracts, which can include controversial zero-hours contracts.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'Students and staff should be very pleased the results today, which are testament to their hard work. While there have been some unusual pitches to students to fill places this year, we hope they will look beyond the freebies and gimmicks and spend time properly researching their options.

'Deciding whether or not to study, and where, is a life-altering decision and universities must not put undue pressure on students. Students are in a strong position this year and should not be rushed into a decision.'

'For too long university funding policy has been based on looking for new ways to squeeze more out of students. Higher education is at a crossroads at the moment as the sector grapples with the Brexit fallout and government plans to further increase fees. We believe what is really needed is a proper debate about how we fund our universities and our students.'

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