Strathclyde University Anti-Cuts Action Network

Please sign the Open Letter to the Principal, Jim McDonald, that outlines our objections and demands to the proposed cuts at Strathclyde University that threatens the security of our Union, departments, staff and degrees: Dear Principal, We, students and staff, are deeply concerned with Management's 'Vision' for this university. We believe that many aspects of these proposals would be detrimental to the standard of education currently offered at the university. Those characteristics of the vision that entail staff redundancies, department mergers and reduction of the campus are not acceptable in the current economic climate. We have very serious reservations about the consultation process that is claimed to have taken place. Students and staff alike feel that the consultation thus far has been woefully inadequate. It is the students and staff which make up this university and therefore all students and staff should be properly consulted. This process should constitute more than a series of 'village meetings' which we do not consider to be an equal exchange of opinion. We are not opposed to change, progress, or modernisation. We are, however, opposed to change driven by profit. We believe in education for education's sake, and reject the prioritisation of certain faculties over others based on fluctuating market demands. Strathclyde is primarily a commuter university and its founding ethos was to provide education to the masses. We believe that this emphasis on accessibility and broad-ranging education must be upheld. Management's proposed idea of change is unsustainable, as in a recession we need more education not less. We must ensure that this education is open to a diverse group of people and not restricted to one particular group or geared towards the needs of limited sectors of the economy. Therefore we, the students and staff, make the following demands for the sake of Higher Education. 1. We challenge the wider strategic plan of an international technological university and demand real justification of the 'Vision' in an accessible public meeting. 2. We challenge any proposal which may have a detrimental impact on our education and working environment that has taken place without consultation as defined in the Student Association EGM the comprehensive and structured engagement of staff and students, enabling them to participate fully in formulating the future directions and implementation of University strategy. We demand that a real timetable be set out for the participation of staff and students, and that no plans go ahead before their views are properly taken into account. 3. In furtherance of point 2, we demand that no proposals are ratified at Court on 23rd June. We note that such decisions have not firstly gone through proper committee channels, and again demand that staff and students participate in the decision making process before Court ratifies this 'Vision'. 4. We demand a halt to staff redundancies. We challenge the cuts already made through 'voluntary redundancies' and note that there has been no justification for such redundancies. The best education comes through contact teaching time. It must be borne in mind that the quality of a university is made up of not just teaching staff, but of all staff who contribute to the workings of the university. 5. We challenge 2.i of the 'Vision' as we consider all faculties to have their own individual core strengths and intrinsic value. We demand education for education's sake, thus challenging 2.ii. We do not feel that Social Science and Humanities need to be brought in line with the aims of an international technological university, which controls what is taught and why, because these subjects already provide valuable skills which are vital for Scottish employers. We demand that our education is not driven by profit and that our faculties are not dictated to by the highest bidder. 6. We demand that the same amount of contact hours are maintained, and class sizes are not increased. We wish to extend an invitation to the Principal and further Management to an open question and answer session at a time suitable to both parties. We look forward to hearing from you. Regards, Anti-Cuts Action Network

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This petition has been set-up by the Anti-Cuts Action Network organising committee which has representation from the Student Executive, Unite, UCU and student faculty representatives.

Links

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.phpgid=208186910346&ref=nf acan.committee@gmail.com strathclydeanticuts@gmail.com

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