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In the news this week: 4 March 2016

4 March 2016

A look back at some of the week's news

UCU responds to select committee report on teaching quality

In response so the publication of a report into teaching quality in higher education by the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee, UCU welcomed the MP's findings and reinforced the need for further consultation on proposed metrics and the timescale for implementation.

Welcoming the recognition by the committee of the important link between casualised contracts and teaching quality UCU's Sally Hunt said, 'Teachers' working conditions are students' learning conditions, so if politicians are serious about quality they must act to tackle the widespread job insecurity that still blights the university sector'.

Government commission recommends university should remain subject to FOI Act

UCU this week welcomed a government commission's recommendation that UK universities should remain subject to the Freedom of Information Act, and called for the Act to be extended to private providers of higher education.

Sally Hunt, said: 'The Commission's recommendations chime perfectly with our view that as recipients of public funding which is spent on supporting teaching, research and student loans, universities must be transparent and open to public scrutiny'.

Concerns raised about restructures at University of Reading

UCU spoke to regional press in Reading about the proposed restructure of professional and administrative services at the University of Reading and impact on both staff and students.

Describing staff as the 'backbone' to a successful institution, UCU regional official Moray McAulay said: 'Delivering an excellent student experience depends upon a team of staff working together, and academic-related and support staff are an indivisible vital part of this team.'

Outgoing Ofsted chief attacks FE sector

Outgoing Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw launched another attack on the further education sector whilst giving evidence to the Commons Education Committee, stating that 16-19 years olds should be taught in school rather than FE colleges and describing the sector as a mess.

Responding to his comments Sally Hunt, said 'Sir Michael's remarks about further education colleges are not only unhelpful, but offensive to the thousands of hard working staff at colleges up and down the country. For many people further education is a lifeline that enables them to reach their potential and to describe the sector as a mess does nothing to help those either working in or studying at further education colleges'.