HEFCE (HEFCE) Make students pay back more, Russell Group urges Graduates should pay back their loans at a higher rate of interest to help avert a funding crisis that will leave the UK's world-class universities in massive debt, haemorrhaging their top academics, the country's leading higher education institutions suggest today. The Russell Group, which represents 20 elite, research-intensive universities, told a key review into funding that their financial sustainability was "severely at risk" under the current system. It warned that the institutions could face a deficit of £1.1bn by 2012-13, and would have to make major cuts to staff and infrastructure. The current systemof repaying loans taken out to cover student fees is unnecessarily generous and includes subsidies that benefit the better-off, the group said. At the moment, they must start making payments only when they earn £15,000 or more per year. They pay 9% on income above that figure. Paying academic staff makes up a third of Russell group universities' expenditure, the document says.
Unions gear up as Liverpool Hope plans cuts Unions are warning of possible strike action after Liverpool Hope University announced plans to cut about 10 per cent of all jobs, with the institution citing public funding cuts to non-science subjects and teacher training. Liverpool Hope last week submitted formal notification of plans to cut up to 110 staff, covering 60 academic and 50 non-academic posts. It has said that it cannot rule out compulsory redundancies. The university, which is heavily balanced towards arts, humanities and social science subjects, expects to lose about 95 per cent of its public funding for undergraduate degrees in the wake of the Browne Review and the government's Comprehensive Spending Review. It is also a major centre for teacher training, which the government wants to shift away from universities and into schools. However, unions have highlighted individual payments of £5,000 made to members of senior management for "acting up" as departmental heads, who will select redundancy candidates.
Browne Review The Browne Review or Independent Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance was a review to consider the future direction of higher education funding in England. It was launched on 9 November 2009 and published its findings on 12 October 2010. It was chaired by Lord Browne of Madingley, the former chief executive of BP. It recommended wide-ranging changes to the system of university funding, including removing the cap on the level of fees that universities can charge, and increasing the income level at which graduates must begin to pay back their loans to £21,000. Scope The Browne Review made its first call for evidence in December 2009. Background Research The Browne Review spent £68,000 on research, from a research budget of £120,000. The survey focussed on how much participants would be willing to pay if fees were restructured. Interim findings Political positions Labour Conservatives and Liberal Democrats Coalition Government
Testimony London protests: 'I don’t recognise my country' It was a surreal tableau. On the dawn of 10 December 2010 the majestic houses of parliament in London overlooked an eerie landscape of mangled barriers, burnt-up placards, and smashed glass. This was Parliament Square, the focal point for an ill-controlled protest march over cuts and austerity measures that had spilled over into rioting and violence. It was the worst civil unrest to be seen in Britain in a generation. In particular, protesters had hoped to oppose the government’s proposal to triple the cost of university to £9, 000 a year for most students. Their efforts were in vain. Many found the protests a cause for hope. I was coming home from work in central London on the evening of 9 December. ‘I was at university doing some work when I heard the protesters heading down Malet Street, so I joined them. The barriers came down in matter of minutes. It was very cold, and people started building fires.
What next for academics who are made redundant? "It felt like facing a firing squad at two in the afternoon. It was like someone had shot me. There were people crying, it was very upsetting." If fear over jobs or redundancies is stalking the corridors of your department or faculty, these words from former Cardiff University lecturer Liz Mayor will probably be the last thing you want to read. But Mayor, 54, is also living proof that, for academics worrying about what the government's 6% teaching budget cuts from April will mean for them (not to mention the uncertainty about what will happen after the start of the new fees regime), there can be life after redundancy. After 16 years as a part-time lecturer at Cardiff's Centre for Lifelong Learning, Mayor was one of around 100 people made redundant in the summer of 2009. "It was completely unexpected. "The fact that I did not have a full-time contract meant all I got was my back pay and the minimum redundancy payout. She combines this with tutoring. Learn to negotiate Apply lateral thinking
Why no mention of kettling disabled protesters? | Society Last week, a group of people gathered in London's Triton Square to protest against the actions of Atos Origin, the company contracted by the government to deal with the administration of disability benefits. Atos have so far carried out this task in a way that has led to many disabled people losing benefits they desperately need. Disabled people, and organisations such as Disabled People Against Cuts, were joined by members of anti-poverty groups such as London Coalition Against Poverty. Yet the mainstream press completely failed to cover the event. Many disabled people are disappointed by this – one person even said they had emailed the BBC to ask why, but had not yet received any response. Disabled people following the event on Twitter were shocked when a member of Disabled People Against Cuts asked their followers to spread the word that protesters were being kettled. Protester Lisa Egan told me on Monday night that she had been allowed out to get a cup of tea.
But Sir, it's our politics practical - Features - TES Connect Comment:Last Updated:4 February, 2011Section:Features Teen apathy has been in scant supply as thousands of pupils have joined the protests against tuition fees and education cuts. But should teachers support their spirit of defiance or punish them for truancy? At one side of the hall stands a noticeboard, not covered with the customary “no-smoking” warnings and notes about attendance, but plastered with colourful home-made anti-cuts posters. A couple of girls sit at a desk nearby, painting slogans on sheets of paper, while across the hall a small group of sixth-formers gather in a serious-looking huddle to discuss media strategy. “ITV are waiting outside with a massive satellite dish and we had an MP who was supposed to come for a talk,” says Linda*, looking worried. It is 1pm at Camden Sit-in HQ in north London and these sixth-form students are supposed to be holding a press conference. The mood in central London the next day is very different. Teachers face a dilemma. December 8
Glasgow Uni Occupied Defeated by violence and silence Why has resistance to the government's plans for universities failed? Alastair Hudson decries the state's success in painting legitimate protest as riot Our universities are facing unprecedented public funding cuts, and yet there has been little defence of the sector in the public debate. The only meaningful resistance to the withdrawal of public funding for teaching has come from students. Yet the state has succeeded in marginalising these students by staging police actions that have transformed questions about higher education policy into questions about public order. Consequently, the protesters have been portrayed as anarchists. Resistance is failing for two reasons. In a stroke that would have made Derren Brown proud, there has been a simple misdirection that has turned a debate about university financing into a debate about public order. The reason for the silence is simple. So what has been the response from the universities to these sweeping changes?
The Tab (Cambridge) Political Protest Calls For More Than Just Silence “While UCL embodied the spirit of the ’00s, Cambridge was – and apparently still is – stuck in the ’60s.” OSCAR WILLIAMS-GRUT on why we should start tweeting our protests into the 21st century. You’d be forgiven for not having heard about Cambridge academics’ silent protest. Academics, students and supporters congregated outside Great St Mary’s Church at 12 noon on Monday before falling silent for three minutes. What is sad about this is the wasted potential. Actions: louder than words? But as the occupation wore on, it became increasingly clear that it had no clear strategy. But the fizzling out of the occupation, and the silent protest’s inevitable lack of impact, is down to the method of protest. A new political arena calls for a new approach. Sayeu told the crowd that upon reluctantly visiting the UCL occupation, one of his colleagues was struck by the fact that our generation had no John Lennon.
Profs Shut Up Over Education Cuts Top Cambridge boffins will hold a 3 minute silence on Monday in protest at the controversial government “attacks on British universities and university funding,” in the latest action against education cuts. CACHE, the Cambridge Academic Campaign for Higher Education, consists of a group of academics and members of the Regent House (the official governing body of the university). Having organised the protest, they will don their gowns outside Great St Mary’s at noon, and have urged others to join them. A spokesperson for the campaign said the silent protest will provide “an opportunity for the many academics whose voices have gone unrecorded by the press and by the University itself, to express their discontent at the current climate in higher education in the United Kingdom.” This action is set to back up the demos witnessed last term that saw violence and an 11-day sit-in at Senate House. Over 300 academics signed a statement supporting the occupation, including John’s Fellow Prof.