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Higher education sector conference

UCU Congress 2011: HE sector conference, Saturday 28 May (private session 14:00 motions HE32-HE35)

Chapter 3 of the NEC report to UCU Congress 2011:
UCU331.html | UCU331.rtf

Motions:

HE1 - National bargaining
HE2 - Implementing Equality in HE
HE3 - Implementation of the Public Sector Equality Duty
HE4 - Disclosing an impairment at work
HE5 - Defending the equality agenda
HE6 - Student Staff Ratios (SSRs)
HE7 - Continued use of fixed term contracts
HE8 - Fixed funding staff
HE9 - Redundancy avoidance - representing FTC staff
HE10 - National campaign for redundancy avoidance
HE11 - Voluntary redundancies
HE12 - Women, industrial action and the cuts
HE13 - Defend initial teacher training
HE14 - Workload and work-life balance
HE15 - Faculty restructuring
HE16 - University governance
HE17 - Campaign for Ethically-Based, Public and Democratic Universities
HE18 - Freedom in universities
HE19 - The rise in managerialism
HE20 - The 'Big Society' and political interference in Research Council priorities
HE21 - Research assessment and profiling exercises
HE22 - Withdrawal from participation in REF
HE23 - In defence of wider educational values and publicly funded HE
HE24 - Vice chancellors and solidarity
HE25 - Consumer choice and quality in higher education
HE26 - Women and the Browne Review
HE27 - Widening participation for disabled people
HE28 - Support for professional development not performance management
HE29 - Campaigning against 'Rank & Yank' Performance Management
HE30 - Solidarity across generations
HE31 - Ageism and ill-health retirement
HE35 - Pension Provision for Casualised Staff
B7 - USS and ethical investment

HE36 - Changes to working environments
HE37 - Privatisation of Services
HE38 - Partnership working and shared services between universities
HE39 - Health educators' workloads
HE40 - Liberating the NHS - impacts on education
HE41 - Cuts to education budgets
HE42 - Points based immigration and restrictions on post-study work visas

Motions to be taken in private session:

L4 - USS Dispute
L5 - USS (Composite)

HE32 - Attacks on USS pension scheme

HE33 - Further action on the USS dispute
HE34 - Defending USS


National bargaining (report paragraph 5)

HE1 National bargaining - Higher Education Committee

Conference notes:

  1. that for the second year running UCEA has failed to enter meaningful negotiations through the New JNCHES bargaining machinery
  2. that increasing competition between HEIs will impact on the labour markets within the sector and the bargaining objectives of employers.

Conference calls on HEC:

  1. to develop strategies to defend national bargaining and to ensure the union continues to be an effective bargaining agent in the sector
  2. to link this work to the union's organising agenda.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE1A.1 University of Leeds

Add at end further bullet points

c. to put the employers' final offer for 2011-12 to a ballot of members, if the employers make a pay offer;

d. to ballot members for industrial action over pay in autumn 2011, if members reject the employers' offer.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Conference notes:

  1. that for the second year running UCEA has failed to enter meaningful negotiations through the New JNCHES bargaining machinery
  2. that increasing competition between HEIs will impact on the labour markets within the sector and the bargaining objectives of employers.

Conference calls on HEC:

  1. to develop strategies to defend national bargaining and to ensure the union continues to be an effective bargaining agent in the sector
  2. to link this work to the union's organising agenda
  3. to put the employers' final offer for 2011-12 to a ballot of members, if the employers make a pay offer
  4. to ballot members for industrial action over pay in autumn 2011, if members reject the employers' offer.

Equality in the workplace (report paragraph 7)

HE2 Implementing Equality in HE - LGBT members standing committee

Implementation of equality has been an issue in HE due to weak enforcement powers. Leaving it to Union reps on the ground to do the checking without statutory time for Equality Reps is no answer to problems around enforcement.

Conference calls on the HEC to pursue:

  1. strong enforcement measures within HE
  2. positive working relationships with the equality challenge unit to check and ensure that equality is being implemented throughout HE
  3. campaigns to advance LGB and T equality including resources for celebrating LGBT history month
  4. support for LGBT history month activities in all institutions
  5. positive pro LGB and T messages in all actions including international.

CARRIED


HE3 Implementation of the Public Sector Equality Duty - LGBT members standing committee

HE Conference welcomes the harmonisation and extension of the public Sector Equality Duty, which includes HE institutions, to cover sexual orientation and gender reassignment.

However, we are seriously concerned that the 'light touch' approach of the new Coalition government will make the Equality Duty meaningless. The policy fails to clarify the monitoring of equality. Instead, the Government's priority is to strip out what they claim are unnecessary processes.

Far from being unnecessary, Conference believes that equality is fundamental to all public services.

In monitoring LGBT equality, some employers will not have achieved a culture that supports staff to disclose information for monitoring purposes. This an indication of serious shortcomings in the organisation, not a reason to avoid monitoring.

Conference notes UCU's response to the Government's consultation, and we call on HEC to continue to press the EHRC for full implementation of the Equality Duty.

CARRIED


HE4 Disclosing an impairment at work - Disabled members standing committee

Conference welcomes the research commissioned by ECU 'furthering disability equality for staff in higher education'. UCU notes that only 4.6% of respondents to the survey undertaken, to inform the report, had officially disclosed their impairment to their employer. Without disclosure many members will not receive the adjustments they need in the workplace to undertake their work. This confirms that the challenge for institutions and unions is to create workplaces where disclosure can be done with the confidence that the response will be positive and not lead to further discrimination.

Conference calls upon HEC to:

  1. ensure that the report findings are disseminated widely and lead to action and change in HE
  2. support and input to the development of the guidelines on disclosure being led by the DMSC.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE4A.1 Academic-related committee

Add new point 3:

3. urge institutions to formulate best practice in the collation of data and continuous updating of this data regarding disabled staff.

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Conference welcomes the research commissioned by ECU 'furthering disability equality for staff in higher education'. UCU notes that only 4.6% of respondents to the survey undertaken, to inform the report, had officially disclosed their impairment to their employer. Without disclosure many members will not receive the adjustments they need in the workplace to undertake their work. This confirms that the challenge for institutions and unions is to create workplaces where disclosure can be done with the confidence that the response will be positive and not lead to further discrimination.

Conference calls upon HEC to:

  1. ensure that the report findings are disseminated widely and lead to action and change in HE
  2. support and input to the development of the guidelines on disclosure being led by the DMSC
  3. urge institutions to formulate best practice in the collation of data and continuous updating of this data regarding disabled staff.

HE5 Defending the equality agenda - Northumbria University

Conference notes with concern the increasingly draconian nature of public spending cuts which will lead to significant poverty and social exclusion. As a consequence of the Browne Review and the slashing of public funding for higher education, women, disabled people, older people, young people and migrant workers are likely to be negatively and disproportionately impacted.

HE sector conference calls for the full implementation of the Equality Act (2010) including the use of Equality Impact Assessments. It also calls upon HEC to ensure that universities undertake Equality Impact Assessments before any financial cuts, restructurings and/or redundancies are made.

Conference believes that defending the equality agenda is a crucial part of resistance to the government's austerity agenda and call upon HEC to continue to campaign on, and educate members about, these matters.

CARRIED


Staff:student rations (new paragraph after 12)

HE6 Student Staff Ratios (SSRs) - Higher Education Committee

Sector Conference notes that the calculation by the Higher Education Statistics Agency of the student:staff ratio (SSR) in UK higher education assumes that all the time of academic staff on a teaching-and-research contract is spent on teaching. As a result, the standard SSR figure in use is likely to produce artificially low SSRs that do not reflect the amount of time these academics spend on research, administration, management and other activities. Conference believes that a SSR figure that more accurately reflects the amount of time academics spend on teaching will be a key statistic in campaigning to increase teaching staff numbers and to reduce current stressfully high levels of staff workload. Conference calls on the HEC to take steps to produce a more accurate SSR at an institutional and cost centre level.

CARRIED


FTC redundancy (report paragraph 13)

HE7 Composite: Continued use of fixed term contracts - Open University, University College London, Anti-casualisation committee

HESC notes that, despite recent legal decisions, employers continue to flout the fixed-term regulations in their employment of staff on fixed-term funding, and that automatic redundancy at the end of funding is the normal practice in most universities. Many employers continue to regard external funding as a routine justification for using fixed term contracts, and this impacts particularly on research staff, and some branches may have old agreements on the use of fixed term contracts that pre-date the current legislation.

HESC welcomes the recognition within UCU that opposing these practices is part of the wider fight against compulsory redundancy, and we call on the HEC and branches to ensure that the protection of fixed-term staff is part of the wider campaign.

HESC calls on HEC to support cases in which fixed-term staff challenge their redundancy on these grounds, so that the rights of research and other staff on fixed-term funding can be upheld in fact as well as in law, and to issue appropriate advice on campaigning and negotiating to branches, and ensure advice is available to branches about the effect of existing agreements on the legal rights of members on fixed term contracts. At the same time, UCU must oppose moves towards reducing the job security of other staff.

CARRIED


HE8 Fixed funding staff - University of Glasgow

Conference notes the diversity of redeployment procedures throughout the sector and that many institutions are not taking their legal responsibilities to redeploy staff seriously.

Conference resolves to instruct HEC:

  1. to carry out a survey of policies, procedures and practical measures to redeploy or otherwise retain staff across the sector
  2. to use the results of the survey to produce recommendations for good practice, to be used to support local negotiations
  3. to name and shame institutions guilty of particularly bad practice
  4. to investigate and, if appropriate, instigate legal action on a collective rather than individual case basis against institutions guilty of particularly bad practice
  5. through appropriate mechanisms, to negotiate with New JNCHES a collective agreement for redeployment based on best practice across the sector.

CARRIED


HE9 Redundancy avoidance - representing FTC staff - Higher Education Committee

HESC reaffirms its opposition to redundancies and recognises the need for local branches/associations to engage in consultation on ways to avoid compulsory redundancies. HESC also recognises that within HE, widespread redundancies of fixed-term contract staff have been a feature of the sector for many years.

HESC calls on all local branches/associations to:

  1. seek agreement on effective redundancy avoidance policies that apply to all staff - including those on fixed-term contracts
  2. actively engage in consultation on ways to avoid redundancy dismissals of fixed-term contract staff
  3. publicise this activity within branches as a means of recruiting and organising staff on fixed-term contracts.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE9A.1 Higher Education Committee

Add new point 3 (existing point 3 becomes point 4)

3. Where appropriate use equality impact assessment as a tactic to avoid the dismissal of FTC staff.

Add new final paragraph:

HESC calls upon HEC to obtain and publicise success stories and details of tactics that have worked in opposing these redundancies.

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

HESC reaffirms its opposition to redundancies and recognises the need for local branches/associations to engage in consultation on ways to avoid compulsory redundancies. HESC also recognises that within HE, widespread redundancies of fixed-term contract staff have been a feature of the sector for many years.

HESC calls on all local branches/associations to:

  1. seek agreement on effective redundancy avoidance policies that apply to all staff - including those on fixed-term contracts
  2. actively engage in consultation on ways to avoid redundancy dismissals of fixed-term contract staff
  3. where appropriate use equality impact assessment as a tactic to avoid the dismissal of FTC staff
  4. publicise this activity within branches as a means of recruiting and organising staff on fixed-term contracts.

HESC calls upon HEC to obtain and publicise success stories and details of tactics that have worked in opposing these redundancies.


Defending jobs (report paragraph 14)

HE10 National campaign for redundancy avoidance - University of Hertfordshire

HESC believes:

That the HEC decision not to call further industrial action in support of national agreement on redundancy avoidance was a mistake and lost the momentum of the successful strikes on 24th March.

In the light of widespread job loss and threat of job loss in the sector the UCU negotiators should press hard for a national agreement on redundancy avoidance which is based on the best practice in the sector.

HESC instructs UCU officers

  1. to build a high profile campaign in support of a national agreement on redundancy avoidance procedures
  2. to produce materials explaining what is meant by a national agreement on redundancy avoidance procedures
  3. to ballot for industrial action in the event of employers refusing to enter into meaningful negotiations.

CARRIED


HE11 Voluntary redundancies - University of Brighton Moulscoomb

Conference notes:

  1. universities increasingly use trawls for 'voluntary redundancies' to avoid industrial action while shedding jobs
  2. staff who remain are under increasing pressure, with mounting workloads and stress, and are often unable to offer the quality of education that students deserve
  3. while a voluntary schemes appear to avoid compulsory termination of contracts, they do nothing to save educational provision, the quality of courses, or student access to experienced staff, and are sometimes voluntary only in name
  4. legal changes to retirement have intensified this trend.

Conference resolves that:

  1. HEC, while continuing to oppose compulsory redundancies, will also resist all job cuts, and worsening of provision for students, and be prepared to take industrial action to defend every job, while not preventing innovation and the development of new courses and materials
  2. HEC will seek to protect members from the threats and pressures that can lead them to accept 'voluntary' redundancy.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE11A.1 Academic-related committee

Replace existing point a. with new point a.:

a) HEC, while continuing to oppose compulsory redundancies, will also resist the loss of jobs which lead to a worsening provision for students and extra work pressures on remaining staff, and be prepared to take industrial action to defend those jobs, while not preventing innovation and the development of new courses and materials

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Conference notes:

  1. universities increasingly use trawls for 'voluntary redundancies' to avoid industrial action while shedding jobs
  2. staff who remain are under increasing pressure, with mounting workloads and stress, and are often unable to offer the quality of education that students deserve
  3. while a voluntary schemes appear to avoid compulsory termination of contracts, they do nothing to save educational provision, the quality of courses, or student access to experienced staff, and are sometimes voluntary only in name
  4. legal changes to retirement have intensified this trend.

Conference resolves that:

  1. HEC, while continuing to oppose compulsory redundancies, will also resist the loss of jobs which lead to a worsening provision for students and extra work pressures on remaining staff, and be prepared to take industrial action to defend those jobs, while not preventing innovation and the development of new courses and materials
  2. HEC will seek to protect members from the threats and pressures that can lead them to accept 'voluntary' redundancy.

HE12 Women, industrial action and the cuts - Women members standing committee

HESC recognises that we are currently involved in the fight-back against the worst threats to higher education for a long time and, as part of this, balloting on industrial action.

HESC reaffirms its commitment to equality being at the heart of all UCU's activities and a very important part of the industrial bargaining agenda.

HESC recognises the importance of winning the claim for job security for all members and that otherwise women, disabled, black and ethnic minority, LGBT, hourly paid and older staff may be targeted in a discriminatory way.

HESC also resolves to strengthen its links with women activists fighting the cuts in other trade unions, NUS, the Education Activists and Anti-Cuts Networks and community organisations.

CARRIED


Initial Teacher Training (new paragraph after 16)

HE13 Composite: Defend initial teacher training - Goldsmiths, Higher Education Committee

Conference notes that:

  1. the Government's white paper, 'The Importance of Teaching', proposes that Initial Teacher Education (ITE) takes place almost exclusively in 'training schools'
  2. the proposed model characterises teaching as an activity that involves the transmission of a set of skills learned best 'on the job'.

Conference believes that:

  1. this is not only an ideological battle about the nature of teaching but also a cost-cutting exercise that will bring about huge job losses for significant numbers of our members in teacher education, and the closure of many university education departments
  2. HE based education creates space for research that informs teaching practice. It creates space for trainee and practising teachers to understand and reflect on their practice
  3. this will narrow the professionalism and specialist knowledge and skills in areas such as child development, education for children with disabilities and curriculum planning will be lost
  4. these changes have to be seen in the context of the attack on arts and humanities courses, the rise in student fees and increasing privatisation across all sectors of education

Conference resolves to:

  1. oppose the plans for ITE as outlined in the white paper including the shift teacher training from HEIs to schools
  2. resist the closure of education departments and fight the loss of jobs that will result from these proposals.

In campaigning against this policy Conference believes that the defence of jobs should be linked to maintaining education as a science, not a craft.

CARRIED


Workload (new paragraph after 17)

HE14 Workload and work-life balance - University of Edinburgh

Conference believes that the fundamental role of a Union is to protect its members' terms and conditions. While many colleagues do not view their jobs as '9 to 5', UCU Edinburgh is concerned by anecdotal evidence which suggests staff are working a minimum of 55 hours a week.

In addition, the academic calendar places constraints on the periods in which staff are able to take their annual leave. Together, these issues seriously inhibit achievement of a work-life balance.

Conference therefore calls upon UCU Higher Education Committee to:

  1. co-ordinate with local branches to generate statistical evidence of actual hours worked by its members
  2. encourage members to take their full annual leave entitlement and record any impediments to doing so, and
  3. if necessary, to take appropriate action on the basis of the results of this evidence.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE14A.1 Yorkshire and Humberside regional HE committee

Insert in second paragraph after 'annual leave' a new sentence:

'Often staff are expected to do extra work either side of holidays.'

Insert at the end of point 2:

'using the UCU workload calculator'

Add a new point 4:

'continue to encourage branches to campaign and organise around workload protection and defence of decent conditions of service.'

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Conference believes that the fundamental role of a Union is to protect its members' terms and conditions. While many colleagues do not view their jobs as '9 to 5', UCU Edinburgh is concerned by anecdotal evidence which suggests staff are working a minimum of 55 hours a week.

In addition, the academic calendar places constraints on the periods in which staff are able to take their annual leave. Often staff are expected to do extra work either side of holidays. Together, these issues seriously inhibit achievement of a work-life balance.

Conference therefore calls upon UCU Higher Education Committee to:

  1. co-ordinate with local branches to generate statistical evidence of actual hours worked by its members using the UCU workload calculator
  2. encourage members to take their full annual leave entitlement and record any impediments to doing so, and
  3. if necessary, to take appropriate action on the basis of the results of this evidence
  4. continue to encourage branches to campaign and organise around workload protection and defence of decent conditions of service.

Governance and academic freedom (report paragraph 19)

HE15 Faculty restructuring - University of Liverpool

The conference notes that:

Restructuring in higher education institutions is driven by the implementation of business models in the management of academic life.

It is being used to redefine employment terms and conditions including role profiles in order to reduce operational costs and to introduce monetary principles in the evaluation of academic performance. It has institutionalised the separation between research and education.

The conference instructs the HEC to identify and publicise the institutions where such processes are taking place and to coordinate action for:

  1. the protection of employment terms and conditions including conditions regarding redeployment of staff (salaries, grades and jobs).
  2. the defence of academic role profiles based on the JNCHES 2004 Framework Agreement and against the introduction of monetary performance criteria
  3. the protection of research and education areas that are being affected by government cuts and university management decisions through restructuring or closures.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE15A.1 Anti-casualisation committee

Add new point 2: 'The resisting of management attempts to single out fixed term contract staff for redundancy or to present the end of a fixed term contract as a form of natural wastage.'

Re-number subsequent points.

CARRIED

HE15A.2 University of Liverpool

Third paragraph, after 'to identify and publicise the institutions where such processes are taking place', change 'to coordinate action for' to 'to coordinate action:'

Then add two new bullet points:

1 To undertake systematic surveys of: 1. local compliance with nationally agreed role profiles across the HE sector; and 2. the status of local agreements covering such things as roles profiles, employment security and pay protection;

2 To campaign for the defence of national and local agreements.

Then for each of the 3 bullet points following add 'For' at the start of the first line of each.

Finally, add one further bullet point:

6 that groups together affected UCU branches so that such action unites them in simultaneous action to defend agreements.

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

The conference notes that:

Restructuring in higher education institutions is driven by the implementation of business models in the management of academic life.

It is being used to redefine employment terms and conditions including role profiles in order to reduce operational costs and to introduce monetary principles in the evaluation of academic performance. It has institutionalised the separation between research and education.

The conference instructs the HEC to identify and publicise the institutions where such processes are taking place and to coordinate action:

  1. the protection of research and education areas that are being affected by government cuts and university management decisions through restructuring or closures
  2. to undertake systematic surveys of:
    1. local compliance with nationally agreed role profiles across the HE sector; and
    2. the status of local agreements covering such things as roles profiles, employment security and pay protection
  3. to campaign for the defence of national and local agreements
  4. for the protection of employment terms and conditions including conditions regarding redeployment of staff (salaries, grades and jobs)
  5. for the resisting of management attempts to single out fixed term contract staff for redundancy or to present the end of a fixed term contract as a form of natural wastage
  6. for the defence of academic role profiles based on the JNCHES 2004 Framework Agreement and against the introduction of monetary performance criteria
  7. that groups together affected UCU branches so that such action unites them in simultaneous action to defend agreements.

HE16 University governance - University of Glasgow

Conference notes the Green Paper on the future of Higher Education from the Scottish Government and agrees with the concerns that the democratic nature of decision making in HE has been eroded, with senior management's influence being too great. Consultations on critical issues are recognised as merely tick-box exercises and staff's real concerns are simply acknowledged but not acted on. Conference agrees that University Courts have a critical role to play in the democratic governance of a university but that academic decisions be driven by Senate (or equivalent academic body). Conference calls on HEC to lobby Government on the growing managerialism in universities and to support branches in any local campaign.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE16A.1 North West regional HE committee

Add at end:

Conference notes with concern that a number of Higher Education institutions have no elected staff representatives on their Governing bodies. Conference calls on the HEC to apply pressure, using all available means, to ensure that University staff are represented on Governing Councils or their equivalent.

CARRIED

HE16A.2 University of Glasgow

Insert after "acted on":

Conference notes with alarm the consultations imposed on several subject areas at the University of Glasgow (including Modern Languages, Liberal Arts at Dumfries Campus, Nursing and Centre for Drugs Misuse), which were driven by a flawed "strategic" view from the management group and did not engage fully with the Senate. These consultations are seen by many as an excuse to force through course closures and redundancies.

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Conference notes the Green Paper on the future of Higher Education from the Scottish Government and agrees with the concerns that the democratic nature of decision making in HE has been eroded, with senior management's influence being too great. Consultations on critical issues are recognised as merely tick-box exercises and staff's real concerns are simply acknowledged but not acted on.

Conference notes with alarm the consultations imposed on several subject areas at the University of Glasgow (including Modern Languages, Liberal Arts at Dumfries Campus, Nursing and Centre for Drugs Misuse), which were driven by a flawed "strategic" view from the management group and did not engage fully with the Senate. These consultations are seen by many as an excuse to force through course closures and redundancies.

Conference agrees that University Courts have a critical role to play in the democratic governance of a university but that academic decisions be driven by Senate (or equivalent academic body). Conference calls on HEC to lobby Government on the growing managerialism in universities and to support branches in any local campaign.

Conference notes with concern that a number of Higher Education institutions have no elected staff representatives on their Governing bodies. Conference calls on the HEC to apply pressure, using all available means, to ensure that University staff are represented on Governing Councils or their equivalent.


HE17 Composite: Campaign for ethically-based, public and democratic universities - LSE, University of Brighton Grand Parade, South regional HE committee

Conference notes:

  1. the resignation of LSE Vice Chancellor Howard Davies over links with the Gaddafi regime which has damaged LSE's reputation, and the participation of VCs in Prime Minister David Cameron's recent tour of the Middle East
  2. that these events have focused attention on the involvement of UK universities with repressive regimes and are symptomatic of a wider problem in UK universities where the policy of commodification of HE pursued by this government and its predecessor which has resulted in educational priorities being sacrificed for crude financial gain
  3. the restriction in public funding has encouraged over-reliance on grants from, and contracts with, corporations, foreign governments and private foundations
  4. the student occupations that followed the Israeli assault on Gaza in 2008/9, some of which demanded ending links with repressive regimes.

Conference believes:

  1. this shift is part of, and exacerbates, the shift in Universities' role from critical examination of society and the environment to the instrumentalised production of skilled and compliant labour for the finance and other industries
  2. the current forms of performance measurement restrict critical and heterodox research and teaching
  3. this also explains Universities' complicity in underpinning the policies that led to the financial crisis.

Conference calls on HEC:

  1. to condemn the policy of seeking financial links between UK HEIs and dubious sources of revenue and reassert the fundamental principles of UK HE
  2. to seek to force Governing Bodies of HEIs to declare all sources of external funding and any conditions attached
  3. to work with the NUS to publicise this issue, and to urge local investigations and appropriate action
  4. to urge resistance to any accommodation to the idea of an acceptable trade-off between political principle and course and job security at a time of cutbacks
  5. to distance UK HE from the Gadaffi regime and support, as appropriate, free democratic movements in Libya, including trade unions
  6. to seek partners for and commission a major public enquiry into the changing role of UK universities and prospects for ethically-based, public and democratic universities.

CARRIED


HE18 Freedom in universities - Yorkshire and Humberside regional HE committee

HESC affirms that defence of academic freedom should be central to our campaigns to defend HE. It calls for the defence and extension of best practice in respect of governance across the HE sector. HESC welcomes the emergence of demands from students for a real education and the emergence of 'free universities' and 'radical education collectives' as part of the current student movement. HESC supports education without borders, and believes that overseas students should be welcome here and not prevented from studying by PBI.


HE19 The rise in managerialism - University of Hertfordshire

Conference notes the deterioration of collegiality in higher education and its counterpart, the rise of managerialism.

Conference believes that this:

  1. is divisive as colleagues on non-managerial grades are compelled to 'line manage'
  2. is driven by the marketisation and imposition of metrics (NSS, REF, income targets)
  3. is detrimental to the education we provide for our students and the working experience of staff.

Conference resolves to:

  1. provide a continued and sustained critique of the imposition of metrics nationally and in individual institutions
  2. promote collegiality as the best means of providing a broad, varied and critical education for students and open working environment in which knowledge and ideas can flow
  3. continue to resist 'career paths' (management, teaching only) and defend an academic contract where everybody undertakes teaching, administration and research/scholarly activity.

CARRIED


HE20 The 'Big Society' and political interference in Research Council priorities Higher Education Committee

In light of issues relating to 'Big Society' research HESC strongly condemns any political interference in Arts and Humanities Research Council research priorities.

HESC believes these moves pose a very serious threat to academic freedom.

HESC calls upon HEC to organise a high profile campaign highlighting the value of academic freedom and diversity in research and the importance of researchers being able to choose their own topics of research, as well as dangers of a narrow market driven short term agenda. It should include, but not be restricted to, political interference in 'Big Society' research.

CARRIED


Research assessment (report paragraph 22)

HE21 Research assessment and profiling exercises - Manchester University

Conference condemns the introduction by some universities of research assessment or profiling exercises applied to individual academics, which assign a numerical score for individual research performance. Such exercises rely on arbitrary judgements by non-experts, and bypass agreed processes of appraisal or performance development review. Furthermore, individual scores for research are open to abuse, such as bullying and harassment of staff, as well as potentially being used to select for redundancy. Conference calls on HEC to undertake a full investigation into the use of research profiling schemes, to support branches in local campaigns against such schemes and to develop a national campaign against research 'profiling' of individuals.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE21A.1 Women members standing committee

Add to the last sentence: 'including the potential gender impact of such schemes'

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Conference condemns the introduction by some universities of research assessment or profiling exercises applied to individual academics, which assign a numerical score for individual research performance. Such exercises rely on arbitrary judgements by non-experts, and bypass agreed processes of appraisal or performance development review. Furthermore, individual scores for research are open to abuse, such as bullying and harassment of staff, as well as potentially being used to select for redundancy. Conference calls on HEC to undertake a full investigation into the use of research profiling schemes, to support branches in local campaigns against such schemes and to develop a national campaign against research 'profiling' of individuals including the potential gender impact of such schemes.


HE22 Withdrawal from participation in REF - University of Strathclyde

Congress recognises that despite the success of the strike action taken by UCU members in March, the employers remain intransigent in respect of our demands in defence of pay, jobs and academic freedom.

As part of our ongoing campaign this Congress agrees to instruct the HEC to consider the most effective way for our members to withdraw from participation in the REF, a divisive exercise with injurious work intensification consequences for our members, most obviously through cutting the jobs filled by so-called underperforming staff.

CARRIED


Funding (report paragraph 23)

HE23 In defence of wider educational values and publicly funded HE - London Metropolitan University (North)

Conference recognises that the response of the UCU to the assault on HE must include defence of wider educational values and publicly funded higher education, as well as the fight for jobs and in defence of our terms and conditions.

Conference resolves:

  1. to ensure full support for and participation in action against ConDem proposals on fees in alliances with students
  2. to build and support local campaigns against cuts in public services involving unions and community groups highlighting the right to HE for working class students
  3. to commit the union to a national one day Universite Populaire where UCU members put on a programme of free lectures for and involving students and the local community
  4. to recognise that should the ConDem proposals remain undefeated the UCU will have to build for national indefinite industrial action by all members from October 2012

POINT 4 REMITTED; REMAINDER OF MOTION CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Conference recognises that the response of the UCU to the assault on HE must include defence of wider educational values and publicly funded higher education, as well as the fight for jobs and in defence of our terms and conditions.

Conference resolves:

  1. to ensure full support for and participation in action against ConDem proposals on fees in alliances with students
  2. to build and support local campaigns against cuts in public services involving unions and community groups highlighting the right to HE for working class students
  3. to commit the union to a national one day Universite Populaire where UCU members put on a programme of free lectures for and involving students and the local community

HE24 Vice chancellors and solidarity - University of Hull

Conference notes the solidarity displayed by vice-chancellors in opposing their staff on the issues of reasonable pay (an increase of only 0.4% when RPI is close to 5%), job security (refusal to discuss a national agreement) and pensions (cuts which threaten the survival of the USS).

Conference also notes the lack of solidarity displayed by vice-chancellors in anticipation of and reaction to the Coalition Government's funding cuts and its clear redefinition of the purposes of higher education. The 'cut-them-not-me' approach has resulted in disproportionately large cuts.

Conference urges UUK to defend higher education as a funded public good providing access unfettered by fear of significant debt, and to defend universities as centres of critical thinking, promoting play of the imagination and visions of future possibilities. It urges vice-chancellors to meet with NUS and UCU at institutional and national levels to build progressive alternative policies on HE funding and widening participation.

CARRIED


HE25 Consumer choice and quality in higher education - Higher Education Committee

HESC rejects the consumerist approach to quality and standards outlined in the Browne report, i.e. that price competition, a key information set and private providers will 'drive up quality'. HESC challenges the view that 'student satisfaction' and employment outcomes are valid indicators of the quality of courses.

HESC believes that the best way to ensure quality and standards in higher education is through good professional practice within an adequately funded system.

HESC calls on the Government:

  1. to reverse the cuts in public funding for HE teaching
  2. to support properly-resourced programmes of training and CPD
  3. to involve staff, as well as students and vice-chancellors, in future plans for quality assurance.

HESC calls on the HEC, in consultation with NUS, to develop an alternative agenda for quality in its campaign over the forthcoming White Paper.

CARRIED


HE26 Women and the Browne Review - Women members standing committee

The attacks on the state provision on post-16 education is aided and abetted by the Browne Review in that the individual will have to bear the bulk of the cost of higher education. This will impact upon women students and staff in many ways:

  1. it will do nothing to close the gender pay gap of 15% for newly employed graduates
  2. women will take longer to pay back the fees
  3. loans will accrue interest, which will mean women pay back more
  4. removal of the block grant - impacting on Arts and Social Science courses, which more women study and more women teach
  5. lack of impact assessment.

Conference expects that any government should progress education for all - for an equal and fair society and calls on HEC to ensure that the impact on women is raised alongside other concerns on the Browne Review.

CARRIED


HE27 Widening participation for disabled people - Disabled members standing committee

Conference believes that the significant changes to the funding of higher education will impact severely on disabled students. Young disabled people face discrimination in access and attitudes from their early years in the education system. Very few make it to university and disabled people are more than twice as likely as non disabled people to have no qualifications. This coalition Government is intent in ensuring access to university is closed for disabled people.

Conference calls upon the HEC to work with the DMSC to:

  1. campaign with the NUS to highlight the issues facing disabled people's access to university
  2. ensure disabled people's issues are embedded in all UCU campaigns against the cuts in HE
  3. campaign for widening participation initiatives to be funded, implemented, monitored and evaluated at all universities.

Performance management (report paragraph 25)

HE28 Support for professional development not performance management - Higher Education Committee

HESC notes the increasing tendency of HE institutions to introduce or widen the application of detrimental performance management procedures, based on highly questionable and subjective methods of assessment. At their worst, this involves the unacceptable creation of rankings of performance on the basis of quantitative methodologies.

HESC therefore welcomes the development of guidance by the HEC to assist LAs/branches in opposing unacceptable procedures and encourage the development of alternatives that promote professional academic and academic-related staff development. Procedures should give parity of esteem to teaching and research pathways, and pay due regard to equality and workload considerations. All procedures should be negotiated with and agreed with the recognised trade unions, building on existing national agreements on appraisal and professional development, and existing arrangements on progression, promotion, pay or probation.

CARRIED
(WITH DRAFTING AMENDMENT - DELETE 'DETRIMENTAL' SENTENCE 1)


HE29 Campaigning against 'Rank & Yank' Performance Management University College London

HESC notes:

  1. staff appraisal schemes, essentially a formative developmental tool for the individual, are under threat from a new type of metric-based performance management widely used in the private sector: 'Rank and Yank' (RAY)
  2. the quantification of qualitative performance in teaching, research and enabling on which RAY metrics are based is dubious, discredited and will lead to favouritism and discrimination.

HESC further notes that such schemes:

  1. measure relative staff performance against norms, rather than fixed role profiles
  2. provide redundancy selection criteria, e.g. identifying the lowest scoring 10%, and as such pressure staff to increase their performance year on year
  3. bias research towards economic impact and against freedom of enquiry
  4. encourage staff competition and discourage collaboration.

HESC resolves to:

  1. reaffirm support for formative appraisal schemes.
  2. campaign against the introduction of RAY schemes.
  3. fully support branches boycotting the introduction of RAY schemes.

CARRIED (UNAMENDED)

HE29A.1 Higher Education Committee

Final section 'HESC resolves to' . Bullet point i :

Replace 'appraisal' with 'professional development'

LOST


Solidarity (new paragraph after 25)

HE30 Solidarity across generations - Yorkshire and Humberside regional HE committee

HESC notes that management often stereotype younger staff as more flexible and less resistant to change while older staff are seen as 'awkward' and 'resistant', and so are encouraging older staff to leave and recruiting younger staff to develop a local culture of compliance and 'industrialisation' of Higher Education. HESC believes that this is damaging HE, and calls for local UCU branches to resist this creeping industrialisation and worsening of conditions, by processes such as actively supporting older staff, recruiting younger staff members to the union and supporting younger and new staff to value the rights and freedoms enjoyed by older, more experienced staff, so that employers cannot use age divisions to undermine conditions of service.

CARRIED


Ageism (report paragraph 26)

HE31 Ageism and ill-health retirement - University of Liverpool

Conference notes with concern that while the EPF is pressing for USS to adopt an NPA of 65 or above, employers continue to view a significant number of staff under 60 to be 'past it' or 'too old' and often bully these individuals to take 'voluntary' early retirement.  Conference instructs the HEC to:

  1. review the situation, both in terms of resisting ageism and whether the USS ill-health retirement criteria address genuine cases of cognitive decline resulting from long-term medical conditions which would be covered by the DDA
  2. issue advice to branches, and
  3. if appropriate, press for amendments to criteria for ill-health retirement in USS to ensure that any member dismissed for performance reasons linked to a long-term medical condition is eligible.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE31A.1 East Midlands regional HE committee

Delete: DDA and replace with: Equality Act 2010.

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Conference notes with concern that while the EPF is pressing for USS to adopt an NPA of 65 or above, employers continue to view a significant number of staff under 60 to be 'past it' or 'too old' and often bully these individuals to take 'voluntary' early retirement. Conference instructs the HEC to:

  1. review the situation, both in terms of resisting ageism and whether the USS ill-health retirement criteria address genuine cases of cognitive decline resulting from long-term medical conditions which would be covered by the Equality Act 2010
  2. issue advice to branches, and
  3. if appropriate, press for amendments to criteria for ill-health retirement in USS to ensure that any member dismissed for performance reasons linked to a long-term medical condition is eligible.

PRIVATE SESSION (motions 32-35)

Pensions (report paragraph 28)

L4 USS dispute Higher Education Committee

Conference condemns the imposition of the employers' proposals through the USS JNC which will:

  1. Reduce benefits for new starters and leave existing scheme members vulnerable to further attacks
  2. Make it cheaper to sack people on redundancy

The purpose of these changes is to create a financial buffer enabling joint contribution rates at least 6.5% higher than required on current actuarial assumptions.

Conference notes that despite the persistent efforts of UCU negotiators to achieve a settlement to protect the future of USS and acceptable benefits for future members, the employers refused to engage and hid behind the USS Board's threat of serious legal action against individual negotiators to force through the changes.

Conference instructs HEC to re-ballot members and develop a major programme of sustained and disruptive industrial action targeting such areas as admissions, assessments and examinations for the next academic year in support of the counter-proposals submitted.

CBC advice: If motion L4 is passed, motion L5, amendment HE32A.1 and motion HE33 FALL.

CARRIED


L5 Composite: USS dispute University of Liverpool, University of Leeds, University College London, Goldsmiths

Congress notes the

  1. imposition of a two tier pension scheme by the employers on 10 May which will introduce an inferior CARE scheme for new entrants
  2. UCU negotiators' counter-proposals on CARE and CPI;
  3. danger of accepting a divisive two-tier pensions system given the employers' determination to cut costs and make employees pay more
  4. impact of the acceptance of a CARE scheme on colleagues in TPS
  5. success of strike action in March to defend USS which saw many branches increase their membership
  6. UCU negotiators' decision not to call strike action on 24 May and the reluctance by the HEC to sanction further industrial action as an immediate response to the employers
  7. resounding mandate for action from the USS ballot to defend the final year salary scheme and resist attempts to calculate pensions on CPI.

Conference believes UCU must escalate action in response to imposition.

Conference resolves to

  1. affirm its support in principle for, and maintain defence of, the final year salary scheme in recognition that the proposed CARE scheme does not offer the same level of benefits, and to resist attempts to reduce the value of the USS pension in real terms including CPI and capping;
  2. To launch a programme of industrial action to defend USS that starts as soon as is possible and effective, to include:
    1. a strike in pre-92s alongside colleagues in FE and post-92, and other public sector unions (PCS, and others) on 30 June;
    2. circulation of campaign materials for rolling action from the start of the autumn term, in preparation for escalating and extended strike action through the term and into 2012;
    3. investigation of and preparation for the application of appropriate Action Short of a Strike (ASOS) in 2011-12.

FALLS


HE32 Attacks on USS pension scheme - University of Manchester

In light of the unprecedented strength of feeling amongst the membership regarding the employers' attacks on USS, Conference instructs the union's negotiators not to consider any significant concessions to the employers regarding the USS dispute.

Conference also instructs the union to organise one or more special sector conferences at the appropriate stages in this dispute (a) to review progress in the dispute if it is protracted and (b) to take the critical decisions regarding any proposed settlement of it and regarding any recommendations that are put to the membership to secure a settlement.

CARRIED

HE32A.1 University of Leeds

Add a new sentence after USS dispute:

'Conference believes that the retention of the final salary pension scheme covering existing and new members is non-negotiable.'

FALLS


HE33 Further action on the USS dispute - LSE

Conference congratulates the members and branches of the union who have taken decisive action to defend their rights under USS and condemns the employers' threats to our negotiators.

Conference instructs our negotiators to continue to seek a settlement that preserves pension rights for both new and existing scheme members.

Conference instructs the HEC not to accept any settlement that does not preserve these rights in particular to insist that:

  1. There is no capping of inflation protection of pensions, this to be in line with RPI
  2. Any move to CARE is on the basis of a divisor that maintains equivalence to existing final pensions
  3. Rights to an unreduced pension on redundancy are maintained

Conference instructs the HEC to implement ballot decisions on ASOS, if the employers continue to attempt to worsen our pensions, including effective action on marking, exam boards and student recruitment, admissions and induction.

FALLS


HE34 Defending USS - University of Warwick

Conference condemns

  1. the imposition of draconian, vicious and unacceptable changes driven through the USS JNC on the casting vote
  2. the threat of personal litigation against individual negotiators to force through a rubber stamp of the changes.

Conference is appalled that employers are still planning on driving through reductions in the tax bills of the sector's fat cats in July.

Conference commends the USS negotiators for standing up to outrageous threats and seeking to negotiate a settlement which would protect the future of USS and developing an acceptable benefit package for potential, future members, including the formulation of constructive counter proposals.

Conference instructs HEC to re-ballot the membership and develop a major programme of disruptive industrial action targeting a wide range of areas including admissions, assessments and examinations for the next academic year and other disruptive practices with as much coordination as possible with other public sector unions.

CARRIED


Casual staff and pensions (new paragraph after 28)

HE35 Pension Provision for Casualised Staff - Anti-casualisation committee

HESC notes that the UK government is encouraging people to invest in pensions at an early age.

Casualised HE staff comprise a significant proportion of early-career researchers, teachers and academic related staff.

Universities have inconsistent policies. Whilst the Open University allows Associate Lecturers to join USS, other pre-92 universities do not afford this facility to all their casualised employees, even though they should be eligible under USS pension scheme rules.

HESC asserts that:

  1. all staff in hourly paid, pro rata, fixed term, or variable time posts should be able to join any pension scheme for which these posts are eligible.
  2. where staff hold multiple posts in academic and non-academic capacities at the same university, they should be allowed to join TPS or USS concurrently with other pension schemes
  3. universities should provide the same pension information to all new staff, whether in casualised posts or permanently-contracted.

CARRIED

HE35A.1 Women members standing committee

Insert at the end of the second paragraph: 'and a disproportionately high number of women staff'.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

HESC notes that the UK government is encouraging people to invest in pensions at an early age.

Casualised HE staff comprise a significant proportion of early-career researchers, teachers and academic related staff and a disproportionately high number of women staff.

Universities have inconsistent policies. Whilst the Open University allows Associate Lecturers to join USS, other pre-92 universities do not afford this facility to all their casualised employees, even though they should be eligible under USS pension scheme rules.

HESC asserts that:

  1. all staff in hourly paid, pro rata, fixed term, or variable time posts should be able to join any pension scheme for which these posts are eligible.
  2. where staff hold multiple posts in academic and non-academic capacities at the same university, they should be allowed to join TPS or USS concurrently with other pension schemes
  3. universities should provide the same pension information to all new staff, whether in casualised posts or permanently-contracted.

B7 USS and ethical investment - University of Birmingham

This Sector Conference notes with extreme concern the USS top 100 investments, which currently include major banks and companies producing petroleum products, tobacco and weapons.

Conference believes that UCU members' interests are not best served by having their pensions invested in companies whose practices are unethical.

Conference resolves to work with Fairpensions to attempt to improve the practices of companies in which USS invests, but not to restrict itself to "responsible investment".

Conference instructs UCU's representatives on the USS board to press for policies of ethical investment, including divestment from companies whose practices cannot be reformed because of the intrinsic nature of the companies' activities, and companies which refuse to reform their practices.

Conference agrees to campaign for UCU representation on the Investment Committee of USS to ensure that UCU has a direct input into investment decisions.

CARRIED


Academic related (report paragraph 30)

HE36 Changes to working environments - Academic-related staff committee

Academic-related staff are the backbone of the support structure in universities, but are frequently being seen by management as units of production to be accounted for like battery chickens. They are increasingly being treated in a dehumanised way with detrimental changes to the working environment, and encumbered by petty rules.

Conference calls upon the HEC to vigorously oppose this attack on our working environment and the perception of our contribution to the student experience.

Therefore, Conference calls upon the HEC, in conjunction with the ARSC, to collect and analyse data, from as many branches as possible, on changes imposed to working environments by new forms of managerialism and cost savings measures, and any outcomes that have been obtained by UCU intervention. This should be used to produce information about best practices to be made available to all UCU branches.

CARRIED


HE37 Privatisation of Services - University of Essex

Conference notes the recent move by the University of Essex to transfer printing, catering and nursery staff to a wholly-owned subsidiary company (Essex Commercial Services Ltd), with the aim of bidding for external contracts to be run for profit without prejudicing the charitable status of the university.

Conference notes also that new staff are being recruited by ECS at rates of pay no better than the market rate in Colchester, with poorer pension and sick leave provision than university staff, and that this constitutes a break by the university from the national single pay spine.

Conference notes that this form of internal outsourcing represents a potential threat to the terms and conditions of UCU members in areas such as IT and computer services, libraries, careers, student support and more.

Conference resolves that HEC monitor developments in HEIs and campaign as necessary to protect members' interests.

CARRIED


HE38 Partnership working and shared services between universities - Academic-related staff committee

The Universities of Nottingham and Birmingham have recently announced a collaboration framework in which they will be working together in key business areas. This was done without informing or consulting UCU representatives, despite the emphasis on 'partnership working'.

While there may be benefits in research collaboration, we are concerned that this sudden announcement represents the beginning of a shared services agenda that will become more widespread among Universities, which could lead to job losses, and the replacement of professional staff by outsourced staff without the necessary professional expertise.

Academic related staff are continually fighting reorganisation, departmental closures and restructuring. This appears to be another attack on their employment. Conference calls on HEC to support members in addressing their real concerns over this, and work with ROCC to campaign to ensure that such partnerships do not lead to job losses and worse terms and conditions for staff.

CARRIED


Health educators (report paragraph 33)

HE39 Health educators' workloads - Higher Education Committee

Whilst workloads across the sector are increasing for everyone, conference notes the particular heavy burden for health educators. Pre-registration nursing and midwifery curricula are delivered over periods of up to 45 weeks a year. Peaks in workload are more common, as marking, teaching and placement visits occur simultaneously. Excessive teaching workloads interfere with their professional development as they find it virtually impossible to engage in research and scholarly activity. Moreover, it is extremely difficult to maintain a work-life balance for some health educators since they cannot use the accrued annual leave to spend valuable time with their partners and families.

Conference:

  1. calls upon branches and LA's to work closely with Regional Officers to raise this issue in local bargaining fora
  2. calls for each region to have 2 representatives on the health educator group.

CARRIED


HE40 Liberating the NHS - impacts on education - Higher Education Committee

Conference notes:

  1. the reduction in the number of places on Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health professional degree programmes at a time of rising health need
  2. the research evidence linking the quality of patient outcomes to a higher ratio of registered staff to non registered staff in any health care environment
  3. that the Multiprofessional Education and Training budget (MPET), which is not ring-fenced, is to be devolved down to individual hospital trust level. It is unclear what role the new 'Centre for Workforce Intelligence' will play in identifying national NHS staffing needs and what mechanisms will be in place region wide to oversee the commissioning of education.

Conference calls for HEC

  1. To highlight this research evidence and call for quality education.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE40A.1 East Midlands HE sector committee

Add after '... call for quality education.': b) to campaign for university-level education for nurses, midwives and allied health professionals.

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Conference notes:

  1. the reduction in the number of places on Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health professional degree programmes at a time of rising health need
  2. the research evidence linking the quality of patient outcomes to a higher ratio of registered staff to non registered staff in any health care environment
  3. that the Multiprofessional Education and Training budget (MPET), which is not ring-fenced, is to be devolved down to individual hospital trust level. It is unclear what role the new 'Centre for Workforce Intelligence' will play in identifying national NHS staffing needs and what mechanisms will be in place region wide to oversee the commissioning of education.

Conference calls for HEC

  1. to highlight this research evidence and call for quality education
  2. to campaign for university-level education for nurses, midwives and allied health professionals.

HE41 Cuts to education budgets - Northern regional HE committee

Amidst all the cutbacks to HEFCE funded courses, we cannot overlook the proposed changes to the delivery of both teacher training and proposals in the NHS and social Care Act which will impact upon the future education of nurses, midwives and professions allied to health.

There are concerns over expanding Teach 1st and concerns over the future of nurse education budgets.

In both areas the changes are ideologically driven, taking hard won progress back in time to apprentice models of learning. The value of experiential knowledge becomes dominant, above other sources of knowledge generation, including critical appraisal skills.

There is also a danger that apprenticeship providers become nothing more than training 'businesses' as competition grows.

HEC calls on all members to support staff in involved in the delivery of teaching, nursing and social care education and to help develop the value of all education in its entirety.

CARRIED


Points based immigration (new paragraph after 35)

HE42 Composite: Points based immigration and restrictions on post-study work visas - University of Brighton Falmer, LSE

Conference notes the intention to cut the number of visas for international students as part of its 'clampdown' on immigration. Conference further notes the recent survey by LSE SU which revealed that restrictions on post-study work visas will have a serious impact upon overseas students' willingness to come to the UK. Conference notes that the greatest impact will be on students from less developed countries who depend upon a period of working in the UK to pay their high costs of study. Conference notes that if students cannot bring their families with them they will also not study here.

Blaming students for 'abusing' the visa system is a 'divide and rule strategy', seeking to blame immigrants rather than bankers and politicians. Many university courses will be unviable without overseas students, and excluded students may not find equivalent courses elsewhere.

UCU policy is noncompliance with discriminatory institutional monitoring of overseas students, and for branches to publicise this, and support members.

Conference recognises that curbs on immigration play into the hands of organisations of the far right. Conference notes that HE students have a negligible impact on net immigration and overseas students boost the economy by £5 billion annually.

Conference deplores this senseless move damaging to universities and education opportunities; the Government is seeking a misguided solution to a problem caused by a reckless promise to reduce immigration below achievable levels made by the Conservatives in their election campaign.

Conference instructs the HEC:

  1. to intensify its campaign against these limits, and the scapegoating of students;
  2. to cooperate with organisations opposing these moves
  3. seek a joint approach with UUK to make representations against these limits, and in ending discriminatory monitoring
  4. issue renewed advice to branches, and refresh information on the website.

CARRIED

Last updated: 28 May 2011