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Covid-19 information and updates

Fri 22 May

The Friday email: 22 May 2020

Defend our universities: act now to prevent summer of chaos

A new report by London Economics (LE) has warned that over a fifth of prospective students (22%) could defer going to university next year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Analysis of the YouthSight poll also found that there was a 25% chance prospective students would consider switching university, which could lead to a summer of chaos as institutions compete to secure students. With universities now facing an uncertain future, UCU has called on the government to underwrite loss of income to safeguard the higher education sector and stop competition between universities for students. You can read the full report here.

On Monday, UCU general secretary Jo Grady gave evidence to the House of Commons education select committee on the impact of Coronavirus on higher education. She warned that competition to recruit students could result in a dangerous situation where universities rush to reopen their campuses before it's safe to do so. You can watch the session online here.

Reopening colleges

In light of the UK government's announcement that colleges in England should reopen from 1 June 2020, we have written to colleges about our approach to negotiating any return to onsite working. We've also published five key areas to inform risk assessment discussions.

Covid-19 survey closes today 5pm

Please remember to respond to our survey on current working conditions under the pandemic crisis which all employed members were sent last week. The survey closes at 5pm today.

Coronavirus guidance for UCU members

There is a wealth of information and guidance for education staff on the current situation in our special web area here.

Blackburn College: job cuts for staff, pension boost for bosses

Blackburn College has announced plans which could mean 29 staff face losing their jobs, whilst giving senior managers a salary boost to help them avoid paying tax on million-pound pension pots. UCU has called on the college to reverse the pension deal and to protect staff jobs and you can sign our petition here.

Last updated: 22 May 2020