Lecturers are fed up with being the big losers in the higher education market

Sep 15, 2018 by

Des Freedman Universities are bankrolling new shiny buildings and high vice-chancellor pay while our jobs are cut. We’re ready to fight back

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There are winners and losers in today’s higher education marketplace. Universities pocketed so much tuition fee income last year that they had a £2.2 billion surplus. Meanwhile, students may be impressed with the shiny new buildings,but they are graduating with increased levels of debt and stress. And staff have seen their wages decline by some 19% in real terms in the last 10 years, with many in the sector also facing attacks on their pensions.

Now the market is delivering yet another unwelcome product: job cuts.

An audit of universities conducted by the branch solidarity network of the University and College Union (UCU) this summer has found that some 1,400 members of staff have been made redundant or had their jobs put at risk in the last two years, through both compulsory and voluntary schemes. The network’s members heard from only a minority of institutions, sothe real number must be much greater.

These job cuts include announcements of jobs at risk, such as the 104 jobs currently threatened at Middlesex and 70 at Leicester, through to wholesale redundancies such as those announced at Bradford, Southampton, Liverpool and London South Bank universities.

Sometimes they are even punitive acts enforced on individuals, like the sacking earlier this summer of Prof James Newell at Salford University for failing to agree to seek private partnerships for the university and not meeting research funding targets.

Source: Lecturers are fed up with being the big losers in the higher education market | Des Freedman | Higher Education Network | The Guardian

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