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
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.
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
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