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15 unions worldwide have now signed an international agreement on defending education and employment standards in the context of global marketisation. Together, these unions represent more than half a million tertiary education workers around the world.

The deepening global recession and the cutting back of public provision will only give greater encouragement to a burgeoning private sector, making the international agreement only more relevant and important.

We are now turning this community of over 500,000 academics into something tangible.

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Universitas 21 Joint Venture struggles to turn a buck

The Times Higher Education carried a story this week showing that the four UK universities who have invested in the online learning joint venture “U21 Global” have invested more than £5.5 million but recouped a mere £40,000 between them. In June, UCU wrote to the partner universities in the troubled joint venture to ask them for more details of their investment. The joint venture, originally set up in 2001 between 16 universities around the world and Thomson Learning, promised that universities would recoup their investments within six to seven years. Now, almost nine years later, this seems far away. You can read more about this here: http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=408445&c=2.

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