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 11 April 2014)


Links to full news items on UCU national web site

Fears for cancelled lectures as universities threaten to 'lock out' staff 11 April 2014 Lectures could be cancelled across the UK after universities said they would not pay staff involved in a marking boycott for any of their other work.

Universities refuse to reveal secret details of pay increases for vice-chancellors 10 April 2014 Just two UK universities provided details of their vice-chancellor's pay rise for a report looking into the murky world of senior academic pay released today.

National higher education access strategy welcomed 3 April 2014 UCU has today welcomed the publication of the national strategy for access and student success in higher education, produced by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and the Office of Fair Access to Higher Education (OFFA).

One-fifth of university heads enjoy pay rise of at least 10%, as staff get real-terms pay cut 3 April 2014 University heads saw their salaries and benefits rise by an average of 5.5% between 2012-13 and 2011-12, according to an in-depth study of academic pay released today.

UK universities generate £73bn of output and account for 3% of UK jobs
3 April 2014
Universities' substantial contribution to the economy is revealed in a report released today that shows they generated £73bn of output and accounted for 2.7% of all UK employment.

Drop in international students coming to England for first time in three decades 2 April 2014 The number of students coming to English universities has reduced significantly since 2010 - the first decline in 29 years - according to a report released today.

Students join lecturers for lobby of MPs 1 April 2014 A class of students will be joining lecturers from across the country tomorrow (Wednesday) to call on politicians to back more funding for colleges and universities. Students and lecturers will be outside Parliament at 2.15pm for a photo opportunity before heading into the House of Commons to meet their MP.

Lambeth College staff strike in contracts row 31 March 2014 Members of the UCU at Lambeth College will be on strike on 1 April in a row over proposed changes to terms and conditions.

Attainment gaps reinforce need for better student support 28 March 2014 UCU has said today that more needs to be done to ensure that students are properly supported throughout their university career.

Lecturers welcome student support in university pay row 28 March 2014 Members of UCU Scotland will meet today for their annual conference in Stirling. Top of the list of issues to be discussed is the ongoing dispute with university employers over pay.

UCU comment on 2014-15 HE pay negotiations 27 March 2014 UCU and its sister trade unions met with the Universities and Colleges' Employers Association (UCEA) yesterday (26th March) in a formal meeting to discuss the pay claim for 2014-15. The employers failed to make an offer but did agree to bring forward the next meeting to Tuesday, 15 April 2014.

Strike date announced in Lambeth College dispute 25 March 2014 Members of UCU at Lambeth College will be on strike next Tuesday (1 April) in a row over proposed changes to terms and conditions.

Prison book ban risks increase in reoffending, warn prison teachers 25 March 2014 Banning books being sent to prisoners risks increasing reoffending rates, warned the union that represents prison educators today.

Staff at Lambeth College overwhelmingly back strike action in contracts row
24 March 2014
Members of UCU at Lambeth College have overwhelmingly voted for strike action in a row over proposed changes to terms and conditions.

UCU response to budget 19 March 2014 UCU today welcomed plans for extra apprenticeship grants and the development of graduate-level apprenticeships announced in the budget. However, the union said proper funding was required if the policy was to succeed.

UCLan strikes cancelled as university agrees to conciliation talks 17 March 2014 UCU has agreed to suspend strike action planned for today (Monday) and Tuesday 18 March at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) following an agreement by the university to enter into conciliation talks with UCU about proposed changes to staff terms and conditions, as well as the decision not to proceed with any compulsory redundancies.

UCU supports TUC's campaign to stop private firms cashing in on public education
14 March 2014
Supporting a new report that shows private firms have earned nearly £80m from the creation of free schools and academies, UCU has highlighted how private companies have been given access to ever-increasing amounts of taxpayers' money in post-16 education.

UCU sends condolences following death of Bob Crow 13 March 2014 UCU has written to the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) with condolences following the sudden death of their longstanding general secretary, Bob Crow.

UCU pays tribute to Bob Crow 11 March 2014 UCU has today paid tribute to Bob Crow, General Secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union, who has passed away, aged 52.

Education should be exempted from trade deal 10 March 2014 UCU has reinforced its view that education is a public service and, as such, should not be subject to conditions set out in any trade deal with the United States of America (US).

Post-16 education investment is key to plugging qualifications gap 7 March 2014 Investment in further and higher education is of vital importance if we wish to reduce the UK's qualifications gap, UCU said today.

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.