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.

    Translate to:

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Australian union calls for fair trial for Dr Beltran

Thanks to the National Tertiary Education Union of Australia (NTEU) for writing to President Uribe of Colombia calling for a fair trial for Dr Beltran. The NTEU’s letter, copied to Education International and the minister for Foreign Affairs in Australia, notes that Dr Beltran is a prisoner of conscience and calls for independent observers to [...]

Dr Beltran – update

Dear colleague The University and College Union has invited an imprisoned academic, Dr Miguel Angel Beltran, to address our Congress which takes place in Manchester in a month’s time, from 30 May to 1 June. In fact, Dr Beltran is expected to be in court in Bogota at that time, after a year in prison [...]

Help ensure a fair trial for Dr Beltrán in Colombia

Help ensure a fair trial for Dr Beltrán in Colombia

On 22nd May 2009 Dr Miguel Angel Beltrán Villegas, a Colombian academic studying in Mexico, was detained by the Mexican immigration authorities at the request of the Colombian Government. He was flown back to Bogota where, the following day, he was charged with the crimes of [...]

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, [...]

Unions sign historic international deals to protect academic freedom and staff conditions

Half a million academics from around the world have joined forces to create a series of new international agreements that will help safeguard academic standards at home and abroad.

Developed from an initiative led by the UK’s University and College Union, unions from North America, Europe, Australasia and Africa sign deals at an international conference [...]