Current Affairs (National)
HE news is a regular newsletter circulated to HE branches and local associations.
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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 7 March 2014)
Links to full news items on UCU national web site
International Women's Day 7 March 2014 Ahead of International Women's Day tomorrow, UCU said slow progress on closing the gender pay gap was no cause for celebration.
UCU Scotland speaks out against everyday sexism on campus 7 March 2014 Ahead of International Women's Day tomorrow (Saturday) UCU Scotland has reiterated its support for the White Ribbon Scotland campaign against male violence towards women. The campaign seeks to end male violence against women by getting men to take the lead in tackling the issue.
Calls for three-year apprenticeships to provide more rounded education 6 March 2014 Apprenticeships should last three years to ensure that apprentices receive a well-rounded education, said UCU today.
Overhaul bursaries, says UCU, as report finds little evidence they encourage students to stay on degree courses 6 March 2014 Commenting on research published today by the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) looking at students support, UCU said it was time for a national bursary scheme.
UK universities outside London dropping down global league table 5 March 2014 The number of UK universities in the world's top 100 based on reputation has fallen from 12 to 10 in the three years since rankings began in 2011.
Teaching professionals are group most likely to clock up unpaid overtime 28 February 2014 Teaching and educational professionals are the group of workers most likely to be putting in unpaid overtime and clocking up the most free hours a week, according to figures released today.
Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College lunchtime protests 27 February 2014 Members of UCU at all four sites of Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College will be protesting against funding cuts and job losses tomorrow lunchtime between 12 and 2pm.
Strike dates announced at University of Central Lancashire 27 February 2014 Members of UCU will be on strike next week at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).
Prison education potential is being squandered by constant changing of teaching contracts, warns report 25 February 2014 Prisoners are not getting the help they need to turn their lives around because of a failing prison education system with no continuity, warns a report released today.
Talks agreed on university pay 21 February 2014 Talks between the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) and UCU will take place before the 2014/15 bargaining round begins on Wednesday 26 March.
Response to higher education legislation report 20 February 2014 UCU today said alternative providers of higher education should face tougher regulation. The union was responding to a report from the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) which looks at higher education legislation.
University graduations at risk as union gives green light to marking boycott 17 February 2014 Students' assessments and graduations will hit by a marking boycott* if an increasingly bitter pay dispute between universities and staff is not resolved in the next two months.
Staff vote for more strike action at the University of Central Lancashire 17 February 2014 More strikes at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) look likely after UCU announced today that its members have voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action in a row over job losses, and changes to agreements over pay and grading for academic staff.
Report warns student debt write off costs will be higher than government estimates14 February 2014 The amount of student debt that will have to be written off has been severely underestimated warns a report from an influential group of MPs released today.
UCU comment on Tristram Hunt MP crossing university picket line 11 February 2014 A union has written to shadow Education Secretary, Tristram Hunt MP, calling on him to engage with the plight of striking university staff after he crossed an official picket line at a London university.
University of Warwick votes for breakthrough efforts in staff strikes 11 February 2014 Staff body says time has come for proper negotiations in fractious pay dispute that has seen students trying to put on their own lectures.
Further education needs more than rhetoric to deliver government's skills agenda, warns UCU 11 February 2014 Further education providers can't be expected to keep doing more with less as the skills budget is reduced, UCU warned today.
UCU response to higher education funding letter 10 February 2014 Responding to the grant letter setting out funding for English universities sent today, UCU said that as public funding for higher education fell ministers needed to think again about handing out taxpayers' money to private for-profit education providers.
Three Scottish universities to suffer extended strike action in pay docking row 7 February 2014 UCU confirmed today that its members at the University of Aberdeen, Robert Gordon University and the University of the West of Scotland will be on strike for a full day on Monday.
Strike action hits UK universities this morning 6 February 2014 UCU this morning reported strong support for its strike action taking place in UK universities all day today. UCU members are taking action along with their colleagues in Unison, Unite and the EIS in an increasingly bitter row over pay.
UK academics paid less than lecturers in other English-speaking countries 5 February 2014 As staff prepare for Thursday's strike in universities, only New Zealand's academics earn less amongst English-speaking countries in Deloitte survey.
University lecturers in Scotland paid much less than colleagues in Georgia or Ottawa
5 February 2014 As staff at universities across Scotland prepare to strike tomorrow (Thursday) as part of a worsening pay dispute, their union highlights statistics that show they are paid far less than staff in other English-speaking countries.
University of Central Lancashire must open up its books over controversial international investments 4 February 2014 The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has to open up its books and reveal the true cost of a series of disastrous foreign investments, said UCU today.
UCU responds to Michael Gove's speech 3 February 2014 UCU said today that, in striving for educational excellence, the government must not sideline university-based teacher training in favour of predominantly classroom-based training courses.
We won't take lectures on idleness from Katie Hopkins 31 January 2014 UCU said today it wouldn't take lectures on idleness from reality TV contestant Katie Hopkins. In a Twitter tirade, Hopkins said she was on her way to the University of Warwick today and warned UCU members to get their 'idle arses off strike and back in the lecture theatres pronto.'
Employer investment in training falls, despite one in five positions difficult to fill because of skills gaps 30 January 2014 The amount of money invested in training by employers dropped by 5% between 2011 and 2013, despite the fact that employers say more than one in five positions (22%) are hard to fill because of a lack of skills, qualifications or experience, according to a report released today.
Union responds to reports of student-run lectures as bitter pay dispute continues
29 January 2014 UCU today urged students to put more pressure on university leaders to reopen negotiations in a bitter university pay row that has seen industrial action hit UK campuses.
Latest figures show importance of funding for English classes 29 January 2014 UCU said today that better funding for English classes for migrants was needed to help people contribute more to society and the economy.
UCU commemorates Holocaust Memorial Day 27 January 2014 UCU today commemorates Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) with the release of a film looking at forced journeys experienced by people affected by the Holocaust.
Strike ballot opens at University of Central Lancashire 27 January 2014 UCU announced today Monday that it is balloting its members at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) for strike action in a row over job losses and changes to agreements over pay and grading for academic staff.
Peter Tatchell condemns 'unfair' threat by universities to dock full day's pay for a two-hour walkout 27 January 2014 Second two-hour walkout takes place tomorrow from 2-4pm • Full day strike by higher education unions confirmed for Thursday 6 February
University heads pocket 5% pay rise but drive down staff pay 23 January 2014 University vice-chancellors enjoyed an average pay rise of 5.1% last year, but are now refusing to offer staff more than 1%.
Universities docking staff pay will face legal challenge 21 January 2014 UCU said today that any university that tries to dock a full day's pay from staff taking two hours' strike action on Thursday would face a legal challenge and an escalation of industrial action at their institution.
Nottingham Trent University boss threatening to dock staff pay earns more than double the prime minister 20 January 2014 The vice-chancellor of Nottingham Trent University (NTU), who is threatening to dock a full day's pay from staff who are on strike for two hours on Thursday, received an annual 6.5% pay increase to take his salary up to £321,000.
UCU warns university to expect legal action to recover docked pay and face escalated industrial action 20 January 2014 The vice-chancellor of De Montfort University (DMU), who is threatening to dock a full day's pay from staff who take two hours' strike on Thursday, received a whopping 11.5% increase in his pay and pension package between 2011/12 and 2012/13, revealed UCU today.
Report shows how Scottish university bosses enjoyed healthy pay rises while forcing down staff pay 20 January 2014 Principals in Scotland's universities enjoyed an average pay rise of more than 4% in 2012/2013, despite telling staff they had to accept just 1% because finances were tight.
Fat cat bosses' firms suffer more strikes, sickness and staff quitting, says report
20 January 2014 Workplaces with big pay gaps between the highest and lowest earners suffer more industrial disputes, more sickness and higher staff turnover than those with more equitable pay differentials, according to a report released today.
Education key if government plans to cut prisoners' reoffending are to succeed
17 January 2014 Prisoners without access to education are three times more likely to reoffend • Over half of crime in this country is committed by people who have been to prison • Almost three quarters of young offenders return to crime when they are released.
UCU dismisses employers' hypocrisy over damage to students' education
16 January 2014 UCU has today announced plans for a series of two-hour strikes aimed at disrupting teaching at UK universities as part of a row over pay.
Row over where axe may fall in education highlights need for better defence
16 January 2014 UCU said today that the further and higher education sectors needed to work much more effectively together to promote the benefits of education, rather than just lobbying for certain pet projects to avoid funding cuts, valuable though that is.
Dates and times of two-hour walkouts to target teaching in universities announced15 January 2014 UCU has today announced plans for a series of two-hour strikes aimed at disrupting teaching at UK universities as part of a row over pay.
New report finds most successful education systems use universities to train teachers 14 January 2014 A new report that takes a global look at teacher training casts further doubt on the coalition government's reforms to shift it away from university-based courses, into a school-based programme.
Lift the lid on secrecy over university bosses' pay 10 January 2014 UCU has written to business secretary, Vince Cable, urging him to make universities reveal why senior staff receive the pay rises they do.
Bournemouth University bosses get huge pay rises as staff strike for fair pay 7 January 2014 Senior managers at Bournemouth University enjoyed a 30% pay rise in 2013, with the vice-chancellor pocketing an increase of 19%, according to the university's latest financial statement.
Controversy over university bosses' pay hikes 2 January 2014 University vice-chancellors were awarded controversially high pay rises while staff received a real-terms pay cut, according to figures released today. UCU said the revelations were likely to anger university staff who have already taken two days of strike action in a row over their pay.
Controversy as University of Southampton vice-chancellor pockets 6% pay rise whilst striking staff struggle this winter 20 December 2013 Staff at Southampton University were left dumbfounded at news that vice-chancellor Don Nutbeam had accepted a £17,000 pay rise, just days after telling them that no money for extra wages could be found.