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In the news: 7 October

UCU accuses Home Office of 'pulling up the drawbridge' for overseas students

UCU this week condemned proposals to restrict international recruitment, announced by Home Secretary Amber Rudd at Conservative party conference in Birmingham. The union warned that proposals to tighten up the student visa system and limit international student recruitment equate to pulling up the drawbridge on thousands of potential students and send out a message that the UK is closed for business.

Speaking to the Guardian, UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said: ''Our universities' international student recruitment is a huge success story because overseas students are attracted by the quality of higher education available. International students make an enormous contribution to UK higher education both educationally and economically. As highly skilled people, they make an invaluable contribution to our economy. Ministers need to take a very different approach and support universities by removing international students from the net migration target altogether.'


Date set for Hull College strike

UCU announced this week that staff at Hull College will walk out on Thursday 13 October, in an increasingly bitter row over redundancies at the college which could see up to 142 people lose their jobs.

The redundancy plans affect 60 lecturers as well as those in essential services like library and learning support staff, with several UCU branch officers at risk of redundancy. Despite nursery staff putting forward alternative proposals, the college intends to close all three of its nurseries. UCU members will also begin working to contract following the strike.

Speaking to FE Week and the Hull Daily Mail, UCU regional official Julie Kelley said: 'Strike action is always a last resort, but after several years of redundancies, staff have said enough is enough. These plans are damaging for the college, staff and its students, as well as members of the local community who stand to lose out on vital learning opportunities.'

Send your support to the college by signing their petition.


UCU blasts 'woeful' lack of transparency in area review process

Following reports in FE Week that area review implementation guidance has stalled, UCU criticised the 'woeful lack of meaningful consultation with unions on outcomes and implementation' since the review process began.

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt told FE Week that: 'For any process to have the confidence of those involved, transparency and engagement is crucial. The minister needs to intervene to ensure much better consultation at a local and national level.'


HE bill in focus

Labour Research has thrown fresh light on concerns across the HE sector about the controversial higher education and research bill being debated in parliament. Highlighting the dangers of the government's proposals on alternative providers, quality assessment and institutional autonomy, the piece repeats calls from UCU for the bill to be halted in light of the vote for Brexit.

Last updated: 7 October 2016