Challenging the Market in Education – Conference takes the campaign up a gear
More than 120 delegates attended UCU’s conference ‘Challenging the Market in Education’ last Saturday, another indication that this is a high campaigning priority for members. The conference heard Professor Dexter Whitfield providing an overview of ‘marketisation’, how it works and how it leads to, and prepares the ground for, privatisation. Professor Roger Seifert explained how public sector ‘modernisation’ in the form of human resource management is about assisting the process of marketisation and privatisation at the level of the workforce. Dr Ken Spours outlined his vision of an alternative vision of FE, which moves away from the neo-liberal Leitch agenda and toward a democratised system which would enable creative partnerships between colleges, communities and civilsociety organisations. Activist-led workshops analysed the ways in which Academy Schools, Train2Gain and privatisation in HE were affecting members, and began to suggest ideas for increasing and developing our campaigning work. The excellent work done at the conference will now be used to feed into the production of a new campaigns resource for members and branches, a revised cross-sectoral campaigns pack on privatisation and marketisation. Watch this space for more!
At the Conference Sally Hunt warned that privatisation is now growing faster in the UK than anywhere else in Europe, and threatens our proud international reputation for educational excellence. Further reading:
http://www.ucu.org.uk/index.cfm?articleid=3304 – press release
UCU launches new report on privatisation in Further and Higher Education
The conference was also an opportunity for the union to launch its new report into the growth of the private sector in tertiary education. ‘Marketisation and the growth of the private sector in tertiary education’, uncovers the growth of the private sector in tertiary education and sets it in the wider context of the growing ‘marketisation’ of education. This is full of information about the companies involved and provides a preliminary analysis of what’s happening to our sector. It also contains suggestions for the union’s future campaigning and points for discussion. You can download the report here:
All the news and resources associated with UCU’s campaigning against privatisation are now on a single web page for ease of access. You can download UCU’s new report on privatisation as well as reading the latest news on current campaigns across the UK.
Click here to view it: http://www.ucu.org.uk/stopprivatisation