Sunil Banga (Lancaster University)

Election address

I am a UCU Left member. I serve on the Lancaster University branch executive committee. My other union roles include -

1.  Chair, Branch pensions working group

2.  Chair, Branch working group for International staff

3.  Member, national ARPS committee

4.  Branch Academic Related rep

5.  Branch delegate, UCU Congress

6.  Branch delegate, NW Regional Committee

7.  Caseworker

I find casework gratifying. I look forward to making a contribution to help shape and support UCU policies with this experience.

I work at University of Lancaster, as Head of Lancaster University International Study Centre. I started this job in June 2009, after a very brief stint at research after my arrival in the UK for my Masters in 2007. I am an external examiner for two institutions, and a Senior Fellow of the HEA. In this role I oversee and support teaching and learning on Foundation and English language access programmes for international students. My work supporting international students is very satisfying, particularly as they are studying in a second language in a very complex and challenging UKHE context; and helping them achieve their aspirations is immensely rewarding. I hope my experience will contribute positively to UCU to further the understanding of internationalisation agenda of universities; and of issues affecting international students and staff, being one myself!

My trade union roots go back to my university days in Delhi, India, when I was the elected vice president of the students union for four years. Subsequently I joined Boots (India) and was a member of the Delhi committee of Boots Employees Union for a number of years. I started taking an active interest in UCU matters in 2013, following a work place issue, as a way of expressing my thanks and gratitude to UCU for the support and advice I was provided at the time.

I am still very much a 'newby' and finding my feet, but at the same time I am very keen to get more involved. I am worried at the increasing marketization of education under the current government. Markets are for profit, not for promoting learning. We have seen our wages and pensions being eroded over the last few years, while millions are being invested in estates and dodgy ventures. Good quality teaching and learning has to be underpinned by decent working conditions for staff. I want us to be a strong trade union. I think our profession has a special role and its own special values. I would like to fight for these values and defend our sector and colleagues against employer and government attacks. I look forward to contributing to the UCU in this role to the best of my ability.

Last updated: 1 February 2018