UCU Commons Statement on the Labour Party, Transphobia, and LGBTQ+ Solidarity

Content warning: some transphobic language is quoted in this statement. UCU Commons writes today to stand in solidarity with all our trans, non-binary and gender diverse colleagues, comrades and students. We vehemently oppose all forms of transphobia and queerphobia, and we recognise that biphobia, homophobia, queerphobia and transphobia all amount to the same thing: bigotryContinue reading “UCU Commons Statement on the Labour Party, Transphobia, and LGBTQ+ Solidarity”

Why STEM Practitioners Need to Stand Up for Arts, Humanities and the Social Sciences

by Nicholas Chancellor A recent narrative which has proved popular with Tory politicians and their supporters (see for example: this announcement) is that students are being duped by ‘low value’ degrees in arts, humanities and social sciences. The idea is that these degree programs lead to hapless students taking jobs with lower starting salaries andContinue reading “Why STEM Practitioners Need to Stand Up for Arts, Humanities and the Social Sciences”

Gender Studies in the ‘Starbucks’ University

By: Ruth Holliday Author Note: Ruth Holliday is Professor of Gender and Culture at Leeds University, a Cultural Sociologist, and a UCU NEC representative for the North-East region. Despite the manufactured panic about ‘woke’ subjects like Critical Race Theory and ‘Critical Marxism’ as imagined threats to the free speech of academics everywhere, Gender Studies –Continue reading “Gender Studies in the ‘Starbucks’ University”

Creating Cracks for Collective Care in the Ruins of the University

Fostering collective care involves working together to create opportunities for rediscovering joy in what we do, as a priority need – without this joy, where do we find the necessary reserves to push for better higher education?

#ebooksos: Fighting the Enclosure of the Knowledge Commons

by Ben Purvis The oligopoly of academic publishers is widely recognised as a growing barrier to an open access knowledge commons in the digital age. The discourse typically focuses on academic journals, whose lucrative business model relies on the free labour of editors, reviewers, and authors, with the resultant product sold back to university librariesContinue reading “#ebooksos: Fighting the Enclosure of the Knowledge Commons”

Precarity, Mastery, and Vulnerability: Some Thoughts on UCU’s Recent Elections

by Tilly Fitzmaurice Two weeks ago, UCU members learned of the National Executive Committee election results. The six-week campaign period saw some acrimonious exchanges in the online sphere as the different groups within the union fought out their disagreements on multiple terrains. As the dust settles, a few reflections. For me, it’s no coincidence thatContinue reading “Precarity, Mastery, and Vulnerability: Some Thoughts on UCU’s Recent Elections”

Reissued: Candidate statement on transgender inclusion and academic freedom

Forward from Mark Pendleton, on why we are inviting representatives to sign this statement once again: “LGBT+ inclusion has been at the heart of our union’s politics for many years. We have also often led the trade union movement, being willing to defend LGBT+ members’ rights to safety and respect in work and beyond, andContinue reading “Reissued: Candidate statement on transgender inclusion and academic freedom”

UCU Commoners: What We’ve Been Doing

Members of UCU Commons come from diverse backgrounds and vastly differing levels of experience within UCU. Some of us have been active within UCU for many years, others since the USS Strikes in 2018, and yet more within in the last year or two. Our varying levels of experience within our Union to date areContinue reading “UCU Commoners: What We’ve Been Doing”

Precarity, Risk, and Hypocrisy in the Modern University

by Ben Pope The institutional solidity which we associate with the ideal university is produced only through successful management of the enormous risks involved in the creation of knowledge. Yet the modern university has abdicated its responsibility for managing these risks, and prefers instead to offload them on to the shoulders of its own staff.Continue reading “Precarity, Risk, and Hypocrisy in the Modern University”