About the network

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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Take action to help protect Dr Beltran’s life

Dr Miguel Beltran is appealing against a decision by the National University of Bogota to refuse him an extension to his studies abroad and require him to return to Colombia.

If he does this, Dr Beltran’s life will be in danger. On his release from prison, Beltran has continued to face death threats, false accusations, and an unfounded disciplinary [...]

Miguel Beltran sends a message of thanks from UCU’s Congress

UCU delegates gave a standing ovation to Colombian academic Miguel Beltran, the Colombian academic freed after an international campaign by education trade unionists. Miguel was imprisoned for more than two years for the nebulous crime of ‘rebellion’ and his academic research formed part of the prosecution’s evidence against him. Miguel was able to appear at this [...]

‘The truth triumphs’: Dr Beltran finally released

UCU is delighted to announce that Dr Miguel Angel Beltran, the university professor imprisoned in Colombia since May 2009 was finally released this Tuesday 7th June, having been declared innocent of the spurious charges of ‘rebellion’ and ‘criminal conspiracy for terrorist purposes’.

Dr Beltran has endured two years in prison without conviction simply for publishing [...]

U of Phoenix facing new investigation

The University of Phoenix, the for-profit subsidiary of the Apollo Group, is facing new allegations of wrongdoing. The attorney-general of Massachusetts is asking the company for 10 years of documents as part of an investigation into possible “unfair or deceptive practices.”

Educators worldwide unite to call for release of Colombian academic

Thanks to everyone who has joined the call for the release of Dr Beltran from his imprisonment in Colombia. The University and College Union, together with Justice for Colombia has today submitted to President Santos a letter signed by more than 4000 academics.

Signatories include the Nobel prize winner, Sir Richard Roberts and a host of [...]

New letter calls for Colombian academic’s release

Colombia heard the voice of educators loud and clear last year when 1,000 UK academics wrote to the Colombian president calling for the release of Dr Miguel Beltran. Several unions on the Global Teacher Network did the same, including the CAUT in Canada and the NTEU in Australia.

Since our letter to the president, Dr [...]

Subprime Opportunity

In a scathing report, the U.S.-based Education Trust is accusing American for-profit colleges of making out like bandits while students are left with crippling levels of debt.

The report lists a series of concrete examples of how for-profit higher education is failing:

The University of Phoenix – the nation’s largest for-profit postsecondary education provider – [...]

BPP posts £118 million losses in blow to Apollo’s ambitions

The cause of for-profit education in the UK took a blow yesterday with the news that BPP University College, the for-profit education company with degree-awarding powers made an operating loss of more than $190 million (£118 million). The losses were largely the result of the US parent company Apollo charging BPP $175million for poorer than [...]

Protest in support of Dr Beltran from 1000 UK academics hits Colombian press

Campaigners for trade unions and human rights in Colombia are reporting an incredible response to the letter sent from 1000 UK academics in support of Dr Miguel Beltran, the academic being tried for ‘rebellion’ by the Colombian government. The story was picked up by all the main Colombian newspaper websites, Colombia’s main TV channel and its [...]

Massive cuts and privatisation for UK universities

UK universities have been rocked in the last month by 40% cuts to public funding, proposals to raise student tuition fees to £9000, to completely marketise the funding base for many subjects and, predictably, to make it easier for US for-profit companies to expand to fill the gaps.

Firstly, the Browne review recommended removing the cap [...]