Received from: UCU
The Covid-19 crisis has laid bare the limitations of the free market in the further and higher education system.
A decade of marketisation has led both to record student debt and a failure to invest in staff, with a resultant increase in casualisation, workload and inequality among workers in these sectors.
While colleges and universities have been on the frontline of this crisis – training and supporting thousands of key workers, developing research to beat the virus and ensuring students continue their education – they face an uncertain future.
Universities face a potential £2.5bn loss of income, and colleges a further £2bn, due to the impact of Covid-19. Without government support this could lead to an estimated loss of at least 60,000 jobs and £6bn lost to the UK economy.
Post-16 education is vital to rebuild our economy. Congress calls upon the UK government to withdraw their ideological attempts to restructure colleges and universities; to focus properly on students and staff safety; to ensure that the sector’s income is guaranteed so it can help lead the economic revival; and to commit not to allow our colleges and universities to go bankrupt.
Congress commends the work undertaken so far by the sector’s unions and the NUS, including UCU’s ‘Fund the Future’ campaign, and agrees to showcase the critical role that properly funded colleges and universities can play in building back better.
University and College Union