The Second Convention

The HE Green Paper:
The Threat to the Public University
…and what we can do about it

Saturday 27 February, 10am-5pm

Christopher Ingold Chemistry Building, University College London, Gordon Street, WC1H 0AJ

Google Map | Campus Map | Nearest tubes: Euston, Euston Square, Warren Street

HE Convention poster (PDF)
Supported by the Campaign for the Public University (CPU), the University and Colleges Union (UCU), the British Sociological Association, the British Universities Industrial Relations Association, London Region UCU, and the following UCU branches: Dundee, Imperial, Liverpool, Newcastle and UCL.

10.00-10.30 Welcome
10.30-11.45 Teaching quality, social mobility and the TEF – The rise of metrics and the uncapping of fees – Lee Jones, Roger Brown
11.45-13.00 Opening the market to private providers – Easy come, easy go? – Liz Lawrence
Measure anything, fail everyone? – The growth of the ‘performance management’ agenda – Liz Morrish, Joanna De Groot
13.00-14.00 break
14:00-15.15 Deregulation, the attack on governance and statutes – Is academic freedom under threat? – Terry Brotherstone, Carol Monaghan MP, Anne Alexander
The future of research – John Holmwood, Martin McQuillan
15.15-16.30 Strategies to win – How do we defend the Public University? – John Holmwood, Natalie Fenton and Des Freedman
16.30-17.00 Conclusions and next steps


The Convention will be structured around the stated premises of the Green Paper in order to coordinate a collective collegiate response to it. Sessions are intended to be both informative and participatory. The Convention and this website is coordinated by members of CPU and UCU.

The Convention is open to everyone who cares about the future of the Public University and the threat the Green Paper represents to academic freedom.

Following the Convention, the Organising Committee intend to use the website to act as a point of dissemination for material, help colleagues identify speakers for local meetings, etc. We want to facilitate members of the UK academic community to raise these issues in their institutions and wider public communities, and with politicians and the press.

HE Convention leaflet (PDF)


The official government consultation on the Green Paper closed on 15 January. The Convention takes place five weeks after, ahead of the publication of the White Paper.

In order to facilitate debate we are posting academic responses to aspects of the Green Paper from colleagues across the sector on our website.

We expect a Government White Paper to be published in May and a Higher Education Bill in the next Parliament. It is time to get organised.

Publicity resources