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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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Private company lobbies for de-regulation of UK universities

UK private education company BPP College has been lobbying the new coalition government for further de-regulation of the rules governing university status in moves that would open the door for the further expansion of the private sector. A story in the Times Higher Education magazine appeared to confirm what UCU has suspected, that BPP has been lobbying the government hard for the right to call itself a univeristy and for the right to access state backed student loans. The for-profit provider s already has degree-awarding powers and was recently bought by Apollo inc. In the context of the massive new round of cuts announced in all public sector departments, private companies like BPP are clearly looking to open up more space to expand in much the same way as universities like Phoenix, also owned by Apollo have managed in the USA. For the full story, click here: http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=412183&c=1

To read UCU’s report into the growing threat of privatisation in UK universities, click here:

http://www.ucu.org.uk/media/pdf/9/6/ucu_privatisingouruniversities_feb10.pdf

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