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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.

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Further developments in U21G as Manipal takes control

The NTEU in Australia have drawn our attention to the latest developments in the troubled online learning Joint Venture U21Global. According to a report in The Australian, the Indian education company has now taken a controlling 75% share in the joint venture as U21Global is restructured with only ten universities from the Universitas 21 Group across the world still contributing equity and only four remaining active partners by lending their names and quality assurance to the programmes. This is significantly down from the 17 original partners. According to the Australian report, the four active partners are the Universities of Melbourne in Australia, Virginia in the US and Nottingham and Birmingham in the UK. As we reported before, with the government in the UK pushing for more such joint ventures, and univeristies cutting jobs across the board, the struggles of this enterprise are instructive. UCU will be continuing to press the UK partners to clarify exactly the extent of their involvement in U21Global and to consider their future links with the company.

You can read the report here: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/manipal-to-control-u21global/story-e6frgcjx-1225823749309

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