UK Higher Education is in turmoil. The system of tuition fee funding, unlimited student recruitment and market competition set up in 2010 is now exposing universities to the risk of market collapse, threatening bankruptcies and mergers, mass redundancies and the destruction of careers and lives. The irony is that this is happening at a time when Higher Education research is debated daily on TV news.
Some universities are predicting hundreds of millions of pounds of lost income next year as students defer applying. Overseas students paying even higher fees may change their plans and stay away medium term. Staff are being called on to teach at home and put their courses online, but this is unlikely to stop the crash.
The organisation representing university employers, Universities UK, is calling for a bailout, but on terms that would favour the wealthiest universities and protect the very market that is so disastrously failing. Such a plan might find favour with Conservative Government Ministers, but it is unlikely to be what the UK needs to recover from Covid-19.
University staff and ex-staff, students and ex-students, and supporters of Higher Education from all backgrounds need to come together to defend the basic idea of a University. Please join us using the following link:
Responding to the crisis: organising to defend Higher Education in the pandemic era
Time: 10am – 12 noon
Speakers include: John Holmwood and Lee Jones (Campaign for the Public University), Anne Sheppard (Council for Defence of British Universities), and UCU.
Access: This meeting will be held on Zoom. Please register below and we will send you access details.