In the news this week: 11 December 2015

11 December 2015 | last updated: 15 January 2016

A look back at some of this week's news.

UCU and NCG sign partnership agreement

UCU and NCG (formerly Newcastle College Group) have signed a partnership agreement this week which heralds a major step forward in the union's relationship with college management. Regional official Iain Owens told FE Week that the union is 'committed to the shared goal of working together constructively for the benefit of all employees of NCG' and praised the college's commitment to transparency and collaboration.

Open University strikes continue against regional centre closures

Members at the Open have been continuing a series of one-day regional strikes against plans to shut seven regional centres. Staff in Cambridge, Bristol, Nottingham and Manchester took turns to walk out across the week, while members in the national offices in Milton Keynes, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast took strike action together on Friday. Over 6,800 people have signed the petition opposing the closures, which branch secretary Pauline Collins said would see the university lose 'not only a visible presence in many regions, but also the local expertise which has been built up by staff working in the regional centres.'

London Met campus closure plans back in the spotlight

London Metropolitan University's plans to move all its provision onto a single campus, resulting in potential course closures and job losses, were back in the spotlight this week. UCU members wrote a letter to Times Higher Education calling for the university to heed opposition from students, politicians and staff to the planned closure of the Moorgate and Aldgate sites. A move by students to occupy the university's Cass arts building was also covered by the BBC.

Protest against potential job losses at the University of Birmingham

Lecturers and students joined together on Thursday to protest against 80 potential job losses at the University of Birmingham. Affected departments include the college of engineering and physical sciences the university's medical and dental school.

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