I read the news today, oh boy:
Students planning legal action against University of Manchester for lost teaching time during strikes
It’s understood that during talks between the student union and Manchester University, one suggestion has been that graduation fees – of £35 – could be waived in compensation for lost teaching time.
Remember that the people who were on strike are getting their pay docked. That is, the university feels that if we do not supply what they are paying us for then we don’t get paid on a pro rata and proportionate basis.y rough and low bally estimate is that students pay £50/day.
Now, to be fair, it’s complex. We didn’t shut down the whole university. But even then, it’s a bad look.
And nominal fee isn’t the whole story…it’s what’s been agreed upon for that fee.
Given that this whole thing was utterly unnecessary because the precipitating event was absurd, evil, and based on lies by the universities, they should step up.
But perhaps they are hard up?
Latest figures show increases in universities’ income, surpluses and reserves
UK universities’ income increased by £915m (2.7%) between 2015/16 and 2016/17, according to figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). During that time they made a surplus of £2.3bn and now have total reserves of £44.27bn.
The data also revealed an increase in capital expenditure, but that the proportion of money spent on staff had not improved. Compared to seven years ago, the percentage of expenditure spent on staff has fallen by 3.35%, but the percentage spent on capital expenditure has shot up by 34.9% over that period.
UCU said the figures made a mockery of universities’ claims that staff were a top priority. Staff in universities have seen their pay fall by around 20% since 2009,
So no. They just don’t care about spending money on staff.
I know that in some circles having shrinking staff salaries in a labor intensive industry would be thought to be good management. But those circles suck. They don’t care about the labour force.
And then there’s this lovely bit:
On Wednesday 25 April Senate endorsed the Faculty Leadership Team’s recommendation regarding a change to the School structure in the Faculty of Science and Engineering. Senate endorsed the proposal to reduce the number of Schools, from nine to two and name the new Schools the School of Engineering and the School of Natural Sciences. In addition, the paper submitted to Senate included the following recommendations which did not require formal endorsement:
• the retention of the current School disciplines in ‘Departments’
• the formation of a Faculty Teaching College and a Faculty Research College.
Yes, a reshuffle that essentially is one part renaming and one part adding an extra level of management is a bold response to the many challenges we face! This makes me really confident that our senior leadership team is trying to acquire managerial cred for their next job…er…solve the tough problems…er…help US solve the tough problems of teaching and research in these troubled times.