After the Convention – what next?

Around ninety people attended the Higher Education Convention on 27 February at UCL. Over sixty institutions were represented among the participants.

Conclusions

Attendees of the Second Convention agreed the following points would be taken forward:

  1. to construct an Alternative White Paper to defend the idea of the university, and to provide a vision of HE as a public good, and as agency for, and facilitator of, a democratic society;
  2. to organise around the Alternative White Paper a lobby of Parliament to coincide with the publication of the White Paper;
  3. to call on the UCU and the NUS (which both have Congress and Conference policy consistent with this call) to organise a May or June national demonstration in protest at the proposals of the White Paper once it is published;
  4. to call on the UCU to commit itself to industrial action on any and all adverse contractual consequences of the White Paper and a future Act of Parliament that can be the basis of a trades dispute;
  5. to urge all Convention participants, all UCU activists, and all Council and Campaign supporters, to organise their own local (i.e. university-specific) event to discuss amongst academic staff the nature and consequences for teaching, research and academic freedom of the TEF, of deregulation, of changes in statutes and charters, and of continued use of REF and research council definitions of impact;
  6. to urge them further, to hold meetings of staff and students to elaborate the consequences for teaching quality and educational value of the TEF, of changes to research funding and the introduction of ‘performance management’;
  7. to begin a governance campaign in each university to take back from the management and senior administrators, or to establish in institutions in which this did not previously exist, academic control of the institutions of higher learning and research on the basis of scholarly collegiality, knowledge sharing, open governance and accountability, and democratic decision-making.

Keep in touch!

To collaborate on an Alternative White Paper, we have set up a Google Group.

See also Elaborating an Alternative.

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About Sean

Senior Research Fellow, Survey of English Usage, University College London
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