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All service groups report to Scottish Council in February, April and December each year. This is the most recent report.

SCOTTISH HIGHER EDUCATION COMMITTEE REPORT TO THE SCOTTISH COUNCIL 16 APRIL 2011

Consultation Paper

UNISON has submitted a response to the government on the green paper for Higher Education. At the time of writing it looks as though the SNP, Lib Dems and Labour Party are not planning to make students fund their Degrees. UNISON believes that education should be free to the student and that Higher Education should be funded from general taxation.

However, the funding gap between Scottish and English Universities is not clear and therefore the political parties are not yet fully committing to free higher education.

The HE committee are concerned that Scottish Universities will not be properly funded which will affect the quality of courses and services. This is clearly detrimental to Scottish students and also would impact to international recruitment, one of the few mechanisms for generating additional income.

Cuts

The Universities are facing large funding cuts. There have been protests at some Universities and threats of compulsory redundancy. The threats of redundancy be it through voluntary or compulsory means will damage the quality of education, all university staff are united on the essential value of administration and support and what cuts will mean for quality and individual workloads.

The Scottish government are against redundancies although have imposed funding cuts. The cuts have been used to inflame the financial problems by universities who are make bigger cuts than needed and are not fully exploring non staff budget savings.

HE Conference

Scotland sent a number of delegates to the National Higher Education Conference. The focus of the conference was the attacks on our members due to the cuts. The Scottish Region played an active role in the debate. Following debate on the floor the motion on pay, a flat 250 claim, was not accepted by the conference.

A presentation on FE/HE proposed amalgamation was presented by the platform despite the motion from the floor on this being deemed out of order by Standing Orders Committee last year, conference was told then that this matter could only be discussed at National Delegates Conference!

The two motions proposed by the Scottish committee were passed.

Emma Phillips and Morag Campbell

Link here to the UK Higher Education site

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