Privatisation of education

Fighting privatisation in tertiary education

The UK has one of the fastest growing private sectors in Europe and the level of private investment in tertiary education in the UK is already far above the EU and OECD averages.

The coalition government is committed to opening up the further and higher education sectors to 'new providers', especially those from the private sector.

UCU is opposed to the privatisation of tertiary education. We think that the interests of our members, of the students and parents who are at the heart of education and of the wider society we serve, are best served by an education system that is funded and controlled by the public and that is democratically accountable to the citizens of the UK.

HEFCE consultation on mergers and collaborations

HEFCE has launched a consultation on collaborations, mergers and alliances (CAM) in Higher Education with the aim of developing further guidance for HEIs on the basis of ‘lessons learned’ from the sector’s experience of such activity. A number of particular case studies are identified, and outcomes, evaluations and lessons learned are identified from them – the report states that the wording of these case studies has been agreed with the institutions concerned.

The consultation report can be found here: http://www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs/hefce/2012/12_06/

The basic principles of UCU’s response to the consultation were agreed at the HEC on 20 April 2012. Our response will emphasise the need for early engagement with trade unions prior to decisions being taken. Any decisions need to be based on careful and rigorous consideration of evidence. We will also stress the need for agreements on redundancy avoidance and the protection of terms and conditions, and outline our concerns regarding the impact of outsourcing and collaborations with private providers (which we oppose).