UCU Scotland bulletin: Summer 2012
The Minister is due to make a statement to the Parliament in June on the post-16 consultations. This is expected to include a response to the Review of Higher education Governance Report. Please contact your MSPs encouraging them to support the full implementation of the report. The latest information and resources are available from http://www.ucu.org.uk/RHEG
UCU Scotland held a Reception in the Scottish Parliament to mark Gordon Watson’s term as UCU Scotland President. We used the occasion to highlight issues of governance and a call for the review report’s full implementation. The main speakers at the event were Mike Russell, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Sally Hunt who were introduced by Marco Biagi MSP, who hosted the event.
A draft bill on post-16 education is likely to be published in the autumn. The bill will include legislation on fees for rest of UK students and on further education college mergers. There may also be targets for broadening access but the bill will centre on further education.
European student fees
The Scottish Government is looking at plans to charge European Union students in a similar way to the Irish Government while it was also revealed that UK students could use dual nationality to avoid fees. These recent developments may force the government to speed up any proposed legislation. UCU said the system was in chaos due to the introduction of fees in a Herald article on the fees loophole.
Redundancies at Heriot-Watt’s Borders Campus
Compulsory redundancies are being threatened by Heriot-Watt University in the School of Textiles in Galashiels. Local MSPs are fighting the 25% cuts in staffing and seeking solutions from the Funding Council and the Cabinet Secretary. Encourage your MSP to support the Parliamentary motion using the campaign page at http://www.ucu.org.uk/galacuts .
Dundee’s Kirkcaldy campus
University of Dundee has decided to move part of its Nursing teaching provision from the Kirkcaldy campus to the Dundee campus. Staff in Kirkcaldy are concerned about the way in which the decision was taken and the effect it will have on relocated staff and students. Please send messages of support to DUCU@dundee.ac.uk
The resolutions and a brief report on the congress, which took place on 23 March, are available online: http://www.ucu.org.uk/UCUScongress
Teacher unions including UCU are in discussions with the Scottish Government over the STSS scheme. Further information and links to national information relating to pensions is available from http://www.ucu.org.uk/STSSaction
STUC Congress 23-25 April in Inverness
With a complete delegation, UCU made a significant contribution to the STUC congress in Inverness with involvement in ten motions which were passed by the congress. Further information is be available from: http://www.stuc.org.uk/congress-2012-inverness