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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Stand by for more for-profit universities in UK

In spite of persistent lobbying by the University and College Union, not least in our recent report on the scandals in the US for-profit sector, the Coalition government seems hell-bent on opening up the UK university sector for private sector profit. BPP, which is owned by Apollo, Kaplan and Laureate have been lobbying the government [...]

Sub-Prime Education

A UCU report on the scandals in the for-profit sector in the USA: http://www.ucu.org.uk/media/pdf/k/l/ucu_subprimeed_briefing_sep10.pdf

Privatising our Universities

A report from before the General Election in May 2010 which outlined the union’s opposition to the cross-party consensus on the privatisation of UK HE:


New briefing on KAPLAN

Please find a new briefing document, produced by UCU on KAPLAN’s presence in UK higher education. KAPLAN are on of the three large US education businesses, alongside Apollo and Laureate, that now have a foothold in UK higher education. With the new Coalition government set to encourage more private companies to step in to fill [...]

23 unions call for a change of direction as German and Austrian student protests grow

Our colleagues in GEW in Germany have asked us to circulate the statement signed by 23 unions across the world calling for a change of direction in higher education policy as a wave of student protests has built up in Germany and Austria against the underfunding, marketisation and deterioration [...]

Branch campuses – union advice for members

Hi all,

Thanks to the CAUT for the helpful posting on the OBHE report on branch campuses (called offshores in the UK), the UCU has just published advice for members whose institutions set up such campuses. This follows on from pioneering work by the NTEU in this area.

To view the UCU advice, click here: [...]

Sharing resources on Navitas

Sharing resources on Navitas

Earlier this year, Navitas, the Australian private education provider announced two new partnerships with UK higher education institutions, including Portsmouth and Plymouth Universities. UCU has produced a campaign briefing which gives some background on Navitas, which you can download here: http://www.ucu.org.uk/utilities/action/act_download.cfm?mediaid=2796

In Autumn 2008, the UCU branch at Manchester Metropolitan University successfully [...]

UCU Guide for branches fighting privatisation

UCU has produced this guidebook to help its branches, operating in th context of the increasing interest among UK universities in outsourcing areas of academic provision or in establishing public private partnerships with  private education companies like INTO, Study Group International, Navitas and KAPLAN. This guide was produced in collaboration with Professor Dexter Whitfield of the [...]

Global privatisation of tertiary education – UNESCO report highlights threat to staff

A report by UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) has illuminated the extent of the private sector’s takeover of higher education across the world. The report claims that 30% of global HE is now provided by private providers. It also says that private sector HE ‘is run mostly on a business model, [...]

Education International Report on Public-Private Partnerships

Here’s a link to Education International’s useful recent report on the experience of dealing with Public-Private Partnerships in tertiary education, including EI’s own recommendations for unions facing PPPs: