Current Affairs (National)

HE news

HE news is a regular newsletter circulated to HE branches and local associations.

HE news: issue 32, Dec 2011 - available now:


  • USS dispute
  • National Claim 2012-13
  • National Ratification Panel
  • Private Providers in HE
  • Research Excellence Framework
  • UCAS Admissions Review
  • Government reforms to Employment Law
  • Shared Services and Outsourcing
  • Public Sector Equality  Duty
  • LGBT History month
  • Annual Meetings
  • Defence of Public Education Conference


 HE news, no.32, Dec 2011 (.pdf)

... and related

This is a twice yearly newsletter for Academic-Related (APM) staff.  The latest edition (Spring/Summer 2011) can be found here.

Top News Items (Updated: Friday 25 July 2014)


Links to full news items on UCU national web site


Blame game no help to disadvantaged students aiming for university 24 July 2014 Commenting on a new report looking at widening participation in higher education released today, UCU said there was much more to do if colleges and universities are serious about changing the social make-up of their campuses.

Government was wrong to ignore warnings about for-profit colleges, says report
24 July 2014
  UCU pleased other voices are now coming out against unchecked expansion of for-profit colleges • Report says UK is scared to properly regulate private and for-profit sectors in case they take their ball home.

UCU calls for an end to zero-hours contracts at meeting with industry leaders
22 July 2014
UCU today re-emphasised its opposition to zero-hours contracts at an industry briefing on atypical and zero-hours contracts hosted by conciliation experts Acas.

Student finance in England needs urgent overhaul, says UCU 22 July 2014 The time has come for government to seriously reconsider the current system of tuition fee loans in English higher education, UCU said today.

Stockton Riverside College under fire for sacking staff over the holidays 18 July 2014 College announce 119 job losses and pay cut plans as staff break up for the summer • College refuses union's demand to delay consultation until after staff return from break

UCU calls on universities to fund national bursary scheme for disadvantaged students 17 July 2014 National bursary scheme would simplify 'labyrinth' poorest students currently have to navigate • Further education colleges put universities to shame as they spend 50% more on outreach work than universities.

UCU responds to cabinet reshuffle 15 July 2014 UCU today welcomed the new further and higher education ministers and said it was looking forward to discussing the important issues that face them in their new roles.

King's College London ignored credit agency warning not to axe jobs 15 July 2014 Standard and Poor's report advised against job cuts, warned about reputational damage and identified risks with building projects. King's is pushing ahead with building project and sacking 57 staff.

Staff 'deliver' giant postcard to Open University top brass in effort to save regional centres 15 July 2014 UCU members delivered a giant postcard to members of the Open University's council this morning, as the institution's senior members met to discuss the future of the Open University's regional centres.

UCU slams Edinburgh Napier University for zero-hours lecturer job ads 14 July 2014 Edinburgh Napier University is under fire after it was revealed that it is advertising lecturer posts on zero-hours contracts. UCU has today written* to the institution warning that employing staff on zero-hours contracts is bad news for the staff employed and does nothing to enhance the student experience.

Strike action not ruled out in row over job losses at K College 11 July 2014 UCU has not ruled out the possibility of strike action at K College in a row over jobs losses at the Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and Ashford sites.

UCU comment on 10 July strikes 9 July 2014 UCU today expressed its solidarity with public sector workers on strike tomorrow over cuts in pay and pensions.

King's College asks for volunteers to cover specialist teaching in jobs axe row 9 July 2014 Leaked memo reveals extraordinary request for volunteers to cover sacked staff.

Lambeth College to shut down courses for most vulnerable students unless union capitulates 9 July 2014 The principal of Lambeth College has threatened to axe courses for disabled students and foreign speakers wishing to learn English (ESOL) if UCU does not accept his proposals to amend contracts for new staff.

Public back apprenticeships as degree alternatives 8 July 2014 More than half of young people would rather do an apprenticeship than go to university, if there was an apprenticeship in a job they wanted to do, according to polling released today.

Staff will be protesting at Plymouth University on Wednesday (9 July) in an ongoing row about job losses. 7 July 2014 Protests at Plymouth University on Wednesday after job loss talks fail.

The questions universities don't want asked at open days 7 July 2014 Prospective university students will be encouraged to ask difficult questions at open days as part of a campaign for greater transparency in higher education launched today.

Goldsmiths becomes first university to let a student into the secret of the boss's pay
3 July 2014
UCU says staff and students need seats at the table when universities decide vice-chancellors' pay.

Strike date announced at King's College London 3 July 2014 Strike action next Thursday coincides with Princess Anne opening new building.

Student satisfaction remains high, says report 3 July 2014 Students in the UK have become more satisfied with their degrees over time, says a new report released today.

Pet Shop Boy adds support to Lambeth College strikers 2 July 2014 Pet Shop Boy Neil Tennant has added his support to the strikers at Lambeth College as they enter a fifth week of strike action.

 -- June --

Lecturers at Dundee University begin work to contract in row over job losses 26 June 2014 Lecturers at Dundee University will tomorrow begin working to contract in an escalation of their dispute with the university over plans to cut 120 jobs.

Vocational education central to success of STEM subjects, says report 26 June 2014 UCU today welcomed a report from the Royal Society outlining a series of proposals for the future of teaching STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths).

Staff back strike action at King's College London 25 June 2014 Staff at King's College London have overwhelmingly backed industrial action in a dispute over job losses.

UCU responds to government statement on student visas 24 June 2014 UCU has today responded to the statement on student visas made today by the immigration and security minister, James Brokenshire.

Support for striking workers now into their fourth week on the picket line 24 June 2014 A national day of action has been organised tomorrow by UCU in support of striking staff at Lambeth College who are now into their fourth week on the picket line.

Barnet and Southgate College lecturers in Tuesday protests over plans to sack staff
23 June 2014
More problems for the college following vote of no confidence in senior management team.

Eminent professor says axing 120 jobs will damage King's College's reputation 23 June 2014 Strong criticisms come just 48 hours before union's strike ballot result is due