Now with added Brexit
The HE Bill allows private for-profit companies with no track record in education to
- call themselves a ‘University’ and award degrees
- charge £9,000+ fees, with loans paid for by taxpayers (to rise to 11% of GDP by 2040s)
- ignore Academic Freedom and Student Unions – and not bother with libraries
- shut if they don’t make a profit, leaving students stranded (as in the USA)
- The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) will spur ‘teaching to the test’ and grade inflation
- TEF has nothing to do with teaching excellence – e.g. graduate salaries correlate with wealthy, well-connected students and students in business-oriented subjects
- Subject-based TEF will be introduced in 2 years – playing departments off against each other
- Student choice is declining as modules are closed
- The TEF will cost an estimated ~£500m to run – paid for by student tuition fees
- TEF scores will be used to increase tuition fees
- The TEF could be used to cap student numbers – the Home Secretary has already said she wants to use it to cut overseas students
- Student fees are rising, the repayment threshold has been frozen – but VCs are silent
Attacking Academics and an Informed Society
- Research-intensive universities are cutting professors, building new campuses and hiring low-paid teaching staff in fashionable subjects
- Some universities (Coventry, London Met) are copying private-sector competitors
- The HE Bill will end state protection for Academic Freedom – would VW emissions data be public if scientists could be threatened?
What you can do
- Write to MPs, councillors, teachers, parents and business leaders in your area to explain why they should oppose the HE Bill – see this campaign pack.
- Get ready to Lobby the Third Reading of the HE Bill in Parliament – keep in touch for details.
- Show the PBS Frontline “College, Inc” film. Have a speaker introduce it – the US for-profit universities have been a costly disaster paid for by staff and students – and then have a discussion.
- Organise meetings on campus. Contact the student union, approach the UCU, EIS and other campus unions. Invite outside speakers. Build a local network of staff and students who want to campaign against the Bill.
- Organise follow-up activities after the meeting, e.g. a lobby of your local MP in their constituency.
- Organise a meeting in the local community served by the University and invite the MP. As costs rise, more students live at home to study. The HE Bill is a threat to the hopes and dreams of ‘A’-level students, their teachers and parents.
- Don’t forget Holyrood, Stormont and the Welsh Assembly! There is a huge devolution impact of the HE Bill.