IWMD 2020: Remember the dead, fight for the living

Thomas Finn, 1886-1926 CW: Suicide, mental health issues (with thanks to Shelagh Scott who did all the primary research on Thomas Finn) International Workers’ Memorial Day (IWMD) has had a higher media profile this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the inescapable reality of the deaths of nurses, doctors, healthcare workers, transport workers, retail […]

Rankings don’t kill people, grade inflaters do

Trigger warning: Mental health, suicide Another day, another announcement of another state-driven initiative to discipline academics and solve a state-created problem. This week, it’s grade inflation – something the Universities Minister, Sam Gyimah, has talked about off-and-on for a long time, and now, we are told, there’s going to be a ‘crackdown’. The question of […]

Why UCU should fight on

On Friday night, like most people I know, I allowed myself a smile. Status quo. Independent panel. Comparable scheme. For me, this was a win. We’d done it. Forced them to take DC off the table, as UCU’s national leadership encouraged us to believe we had done, won a commitment to an independent panel ahead […]

The end of the line for Alistair Jarvis

This morning, staff and students fighting for pensions and against marketisation woke to the surprising news that Oxford’s vice-chancellor, Louise Richardson, had emailed staff to confirm the University was reversing its position on pensions. This was all the more spectacular given that only yesterday Oxford’s famed academic self-governance was derailed by 21 ‘loyalists’ who vetoed […]

Strike week two: The university rises

Week Two of the strike, freezing temperatures, and the university reborn. It has been a remarkable three days. Across the country, picket lines have been manned with gusto, with dogs, babies and even a Strikeosaurus putting in an appearance. Students have turned out in force too, playing their part in the line and in supporting […]