University research projects at risk of ‘collapse’ amid no-deal Brexit, union leader says

Posted in Research on August 27th, 2018 by steve

“Vital research and collaboration projects at universities are at risk of collapsing if the UK exits the EU without a deal, the leader of the largest union of higher education staff has warned. Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union (UCU), which has more than 100,000 members, said the fall-out from Brexit is the ‘biggest challenge facing higher education’ …” (more)

[Eleanor Busby, Independent, 26 August]

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Universities urged not to offer places to students based on predicted grades

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on June 19th, 2018 by steve

“Predicted grades should not be used by universities to make offers to students, a union has said. The UK is ‘out of step’ with the rest of the world on university admissions, according to the University and College Union (UCU) which is calling for an overhaul of the system …” (more)

[Alison Kershaw, Belfast Telegraph, 19 June]

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Strike-hit Ulster University students may have marks increased

Posted in Teaching on June 13th, 2018 by steve

“Some students at Ulster University (UU) could have exam marks increased if they have been affected by strike action, the BBC reports. Due to strike action by the University and College Union (UCU) a number of classes at UU were cancelled earlier this year …” (more)

[Belfast Telegraph, 13 June]

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University staff suspend strikes over pensions

Posted in Governance and administration on April 13th, 2018 by steve

“University staff have suspended strikes which were set to hit summer exams after agreeing to fresh pension plans. Planned changes to staff pensions prompted 14 days of strike action at 64 universities in February and March, and more strikes were planned …” (more)

[Hannah Richardson, BBC News, 13 April]

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UCU at Ulster Committee ballot guidance for members

Posted in Governance and administration on April 13th, 2018 by steve

“We apologise for not arranging a members’ meeting to discuss the ballot which closes this Friday. The timing was unfortunate for us given Ulster University closes during Easter week. In the absence of a meeting, we are instead publishing our thoughts through our social media channels …” (more)

[UCU, 12 April]

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Message to members following phase 1 of USS strike action

Posted in Governance and administration on March 16th, 2018 by steve

“Hi all, now that the strikes are over (for now) I just want to record my thanks to all of you for all your support throughout the strike period. We have surpassed all expectations and have had pickets on every campus, at every entrance, every day. We have had staff from across the university, at every level, from every school or department, striking with us and have been supported by our students and the Student’s Union. We have shown that we are united, principled and can influence decision making at the highest level …” (more)

[UCU@Ulster, 16 March]

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University strikers reject pension deal

Posted in Governance and administration on March 13th, 2018 by steve

“University strikers have turned down an agreement reached by university union leaders and employers to end the pensions dispute. It means the strike will continue – with threats to final year exams and assessments in the summer term …” (more)

[Sean Coughlan, BBC News, 13 March]

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Striking university staff irate over pensions deal

Posted in Governance and administration on March 13th, 2018 by steve

“Striking university staff have expressed anger and widespread opposition to a deal struck by their own leaders to bring an end to a bitter dispute over pensions. The proposed agreement between the University and College Union (UCU) and employers represented by Universities UK (UUK) was reached on Monday night after six days of talks at the conciliation service Acas and three weeks of strike action …” (more)

[Sally Weale, Guardian, 13 March]

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University strikes may be called off after talks lead to new proposals

Posted in Governance and administration on March 13th, 2018 by steve

“Strikes by university staff, which have caused widespread disruption on campuses across the UK in a bitter dispute over pensions, could be suspended later this week after a breakthrough in talks. Employers and union leaders have agreed a revised proposal to reform pensions, which – if endorsed by all parties – will be introduced as part of a three-year transitional arrangement …” (more)

[Sally Weale, Guardian, 12 March]

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Queen’s University students won’t be compensated over strike

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on March 10th, 2018 by steve

“Queen’s University Belfast will not compensate students whose courses have been disrupted by strike action. That is according to an email from the acting vice-chancellor to all students …” (more)

[Robbie Meredith, BBC News, 10 March]

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University strikes: Students set to receive ‘direct compensation’ over lectures missed due to action, minister says

Posted in Governance and administration on February 28th, 2018 by steve

“At least one university is ‘looking at direct compensation’ for students facing disruption due to ongoing strike action, universities minister Sam Gyimah has revealed. Tens of thousands of students have signed petitions demanding refunds for lost university lectures and classes …” (more)

[Eleanor Busby, Independent, 28 February]

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University dispute: More talks but strikes continue

Posted in Governance and administration on February 28th, 2018 by steve

“The two sides in the university pensions dispute have agreed to mediation by the conciliation service Acas – but the strikes will continue. Staff at 61 universities have walked out over planned cuts to their pensions, with a further three due to join the action next week …” (more)

[Judith Burns, BBC News, 27 February]

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Open letter to Ulster University VC, Paddy Nixon

Posted in Governance and administration on February 27th, 2018 by steve

“Dear Professor Nixon, As you are aware UCU members at Ulster University are taking industrial action to defend their USS pension. We stand together with 64 other universities across the UK in demanding a fairer deal. As we enter a fourth strike day tomorrow and Universities UK (UUK) meet with our UCU national negotiators (27th Feb) …” (more)

[Tracy Irwin, UCU, 26 February]

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University strikes: Nearly 100,000 students sign petitions demanding compensation for classes lost due to absent lecturers

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on February 22nd, 2018 by steve

“Nearly 100,000 students have signed petitions demanding compensation from universities for classes lost due to striking lecturers. Tens of thousands of university workers are expected to take part in a wave of walkouts in an ongoing dispute over pensions. Members of the University and College Union (UCU) at 64 UK institutions are staging the first in a series of strikes after voting in favour of industrial action …” (more)

[Samuel Osborne, Independent, 22 February]

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League table musings: Ulster is plummeting, but not because of the staff

Posted in Governance and administration on February 22nd, 2018 by steve

“Well, the Guardian league tables are out and they make for eye-watering viewing. We came 96th out of 121 institutions, down from 79th in 2017, with an overall score of 49.6 down from 53.9. Meanwhile, Queen’s is up 10 places from 48 to 38. What is most striking is the breakdown of the various evaluations that led to this overall ranking …” (more)

[UCU, 21 February]

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University strike: What’s it all about?

Posted in Governance and administration on February 22nd, 2018 by steve

“University lecturers at 64 universities are striking over pensions. More than one million students are expected to be affected, with lecturers not teaching, marking or carrying out research. There are no plans to reschedule cancelled lectures …” (more)

[Judith Burns, BBC News, 21 February]

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Ulster University and Queen’s lecturers to strike over pension rows

Posted in Governance and administration on February 21st, 2018 by steve

“University lecturers in Northern Ireland are about to begin a four week period of industrial action over pensions. Queen’s and UU staff are among workers from 61 UK universities taking part in the action. Due to begin on Thursday, the strike will continue with a five-day walkout either side of the weekends …” (more)

[Belfast Telegraph, 21 February]

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Queen’s University Belfast lecturers join strike action

Posted in Governance and administration on February 8th, 2018 by steve

“Queen’s University Belfast is facing 13 days of strike action from many lecturers, staring on 22 February. Members of the University and College Union (UCU) at Ulster University had already decided to strike …” (more)

[Robbie Meredith, BBC News, 8 February]

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Ulster University and Queen’s lecturers to strike over pensions

Posted in Governance and administration on February 6th, 2018 by steve

“An ‘escalating’ wave of stoppages over a four-week period will begin with the two-day walkout by members of the University and College Union (UCU). The protest surrounds changes to pensions. UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said …” (more)

[Belfast Telegraph, 6 February]

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NI university lecturers to strike over pensions

Posted in Governance and administration on February 6th, 2018 by steve

“Ulster University (UU) faces 14 days of strike action from many lecturers, starting on 22 February. It is also expected that Queen’s University Belfast will be affected in a similar way. The action by University and College Union (UCU) members is being taken due to a dispute over planned changes to staff pensions …” (more)

[Robbie Meredith, BBC News, 6 February]

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