News update: protesting the cuts in word, in thought, in deed
October 2, 2011 Leave a comment
Lots to report over the past few days.
UCU calls for ‘action short of a strike’
UCU general secretary Sally Hunt has written to members in defence of USS pensions, asking them ‘to support action short of a strike in the form of ‘working to contract’’, dating from 10 October. Details here: http://defenduss.web.ucu.org.uk/2011/09/29/email-to-members/
The Universites of Cambridge and Oxford have savaged the Coalition government’s Higher Education White Paper in their submissions to the official consultation, which closed recently. Criticism centres around:
- The incoherence and flawed reasoning of many of the White Paper’s proposals;
- The refusal to recognise the wider public benefits of Higher Education;
- The erosion of institutional autonomy and academic freedom;
- The treatment of students as consumers rather than critical and independent thinkers and informed participants in an open, equal and democratic society;
- The failure to develop any policies about postgraduate degrees, and the failure to see the integral link between teaching and research at university level;
- An attack on the blatant social engineering of the ‘core and margin’ model, creating unlimited extra university places for A level students who achieve AAB and above, and 20,000 for those institutions charging <£7500. Both proposals have been roundly criticised for their potentially disastrous consequences.
Cambridge says reforms will inflict serious damage on the global reputation of our universities. Oxford warns of the turbulence the proposals will cause in the system. Details here: http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=417622&c=1
EAN at the Tory Party Conference in Manchester
Finally, Education Activist Network members are well represented on the demonstrations and protests in Manchester for the Conservative Party Conference.
Manchester EAN organised a feeder march for the TUC demonstration. And the rally promises some powerful speeches from union members, students and education activists. See here: http://yfrog.com/kkm1bzfj
Keep the pressure on this government in words, thoughts and deeds.