UCU Scotland Congress round-up

April 10, 2008

  • Delegates to the University and College Union Scotland congress passed an emergency motion condemning proposed job cuts at Keele University's School of Economic and Management Studies. Alastair Hunter of the University of Glasgow said the move was ideologically driven. "This is a world-class, first-rate centre for industrial relations and human resource management ... which has the highest reputation."
  • Institutions were warned not to attempt to erode academic freedom by revising their governing statutes. Scotland's pre-92 universities have mooted the prospect of changing the statutes, but Carlo Morelli of the University of Dundee UCU said there was a danger that they would try to reduce their accountability and undermine the academic control exercised by the university senate.
  • The UCU wants an independent and wide-ranging review of Scottish higher education to assess the danger of Scottish universities falling behind their English counterparts following the "disappointing" higher education spending review outcome north of the border. The Scottish Government has set up a task force, due to report by summer, to examine the universities' future position, but the union said its membership, and remit, was too narrow.
  • Terry Brotherstone, UCU Scotland president, urged local action and vigilance against "creeping privatisation". Into University Partnerships, which provides English-language and other preparatory courses for international students, has taken over language centres at several universities.

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