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Taking action in higher education

Campaign update: 03 March 2017


Sally Hunt re-elected as UCU general secretary 

Sally Hunt has been re-elected as UCU general secretary with nearly 60% of votes cast. Sally said: 'I intend to deliver on the democratic mandate I have been given. That means increasing support for members when they need it most and redoubling our efforts to campaign on issues like Brexit, casualisation, pay and privatisation.' More details including full result here

Further education funding: report shows 25 years of cuts

The crisis in further education (FE) funding was laid bare this week with an Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) report showing FE is the only area of education to have faced such severe cuts in recent years. UCU has called on the government to urgently increase capacity in the sector by investing in 15,000 more college teachers. 

Higher education bill: briefing peers for report stage

The next stage of the Higher Education and Research bill begins on Monday. UCU has been working hard to brief parliamentarians on our concerns and has circulated an updated briefing to peers [467kb]. If you know any peers professionally or personally and would like to help us lobby please contact

Other news this week

1. In the news

  • Sally Hunt is returned as UCU general secretary
  • Full extent of further education funding cuts revealed
  • Report on left-wing bias in universities attacked for flimsy figures
  • MPs urged to intervene as Grimsby Institute redundancy plans would hit vulnerable students
  • Beleaguered Hull College chief executive step downs

Read all about it here.

2. Defend jobs at Manchester Metropolitan University

Please sign the petition calling on Manchester Metropolitan University to commit to no compulsory redundancies. Following the decision to close the campus at Crewe the union is campaigning to save staff jobs.

3. Celebrate International Women's Day - 8 March

International Women's Day is celebrated across the world on 8 March. With more than 70 million women organised in trade unions we have a key role to play in the struggle for women's rights and UCU is campaigning to address the gender pay gap that persists across the education sector: 

4. Your union, your voice, your vote: UCU Congress 2017

UCU holds an annual conference to take decisions, discuss education issues and set our priorities for the year. Registration is now open for Congress 2017, taking place in Brighton, 26-29 May. 

5. Save our NHS march tomorrow

Thousands are expected to march through London tomorrow, Saturday 4 March, against NHS cuts and privatisation and you can join the demonstration assembling at 12 noon in Tavistock Square and ending with a rally in Parliament Square

6. Reinstate Dawn Holdman campaign 

Dawn Holdman, a longstanding union equality rep, has been dismissed from University of Liverpool, we believe, because of her trade union activism. Please sign our petition calling for her reinstatement

7. March against Racism, 18 March 

Please support UN anti-racism day and join one of the demonstrations in Glasgow, Cardiff or London. 

8. Let Refugees Learn - add your voice

UCU is supporting Refugee Action's campaign for ESOL - to add your voice you can tweet using the hashtag #LetRefugeesLearn and sign their petition here.

Last updated: 23 October 2017