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Taking action in higher education

Campaign update: 24 February 2017


Two year degrees risk to UK's reputation

Plans to introduce two year degrees costing up to £14,000 per year could damage our universities' global reputation, allow more for-profit colleges and place a huge burden on staff. More information and our response to the proposals here

Further education investment - last chance to sign our letter

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt repeated our call for more investment in further education (FE) in The Guardian this week, following news that another university technical college is to close. Please sign our letter which is being presented to the skills minister next week. 

Other news this week

1. In the news

  • UCU report exposes university heads' pay rises and perks
  • Two-year degrees back on the table
  • Only funding can solve perennial problems in further education

Read all about it here.

2. Support the National Student Survey boycott

Our sister union the National Union of Students (NUS) is boycotting the National Student Survey (NSS) which is linked to the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and government plans to increase tuition fees. UCU is working closely with the NUS on the boycott and you can find out more, download posters, and read the joint UCU/NUS statement here

3. Your vote, your voice, your union: UCU election 

Please remember to use your vote in the UCU's national elections which close at noon on 1 March 2017. More information about the election including election addresses for all candidates can be found here.  

4. Save our NHS: demonstrate against cuts, closures and privatisation

The NHS was created to care for us all - now it's time for us to care for the NHS. You are invited to join the many thousands expected at the biggest ever demonstration for the NHS on Saturday 4 March. The march assembles at 12 noon, Tavistock Square, London and will end at a rally at Parliament Square

5. Work your proper hours day

Today is the TUC's 'work your proper hours day' aimed at highlighting the long hours culture and unpaid overtime many workers undertake. Figures released this week show education staff do some of the highest levels of unpaid work of any profession. 

6. Education key to prisons crisis

UCU believes that education is crucial to the reform and rehabilitation of offenders and we argued this week that education should be at the heart of the new prisons and courts bill and key to dealing with the current prisons crisis. UCU represents prison education staff and you can find out more about the challenging but vital work they do in this short film here

8. College of North West London strike for sacked rep Sen

UCU members at the Willesden and Wembley campuses of the college took strike action yesterday over the sacking of UCU rep Indro Sen. There is a public meeting in support of Sen at the Willesden Library at 6pm today. 

9. Giulio Regeni, Cambridge student murdered in Egypt

UCU has teamed up with Amnesty in a new campus campaign to demand Truth for Giulio Regeni and Justice for Egypt's Disappeared. Click here for further details of the campaign, which includes a new postcard petition

10. Academic-related, professional staff meeting, 1 March

UCU is the union for academic-related, professional staff working in a wide range of roles including information services, computing, support and administration and you are invited to this meeting to network with others, take part in discussions and hear from keynote speakers. 

11. UCU women activists' event - equal pay and the gender pay gap

A briefing on equal pay and the gender pay gap aimed at new women activists will be taking place on Wednesday 26 April

12. March against Racism, 18 March 

To mark the UN anti-racism day campaigners including the TUC are holding demonstrations in Glasgow, Cardiff and London.

Last updated: 23 October 2017