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Students prepare to debate and protest

December 1, 2009

Leeds Uni against the cutsMembers of the UCU committee were pleasantly surprised to have leaflets opposing the cuts thrust into their hands outside the Students’ Union today. Headed ‘10% less value for your money’, the leaflet was being distributed all afternoon, we learn, by the student group called ‘Leeds University Against the Cuts‘. They have arranged a debate for students to attend on Friday 5 December at 5pm in the Yorkshire Bank Lecture Theatre, and we understand are planning a protest on campus some time next week.

Just yesterday we posted a blog stating that our Facebook page ‘Defend Jobs at Leeds, Defend Education‘ had breached 1000 members. Today it breached 1100 members.

Elsewhere, School of English student Conor Whelan had a full-page article published in this week’s Leeds Student. Entitled ‘Job cuts: time for action’, and illustrated with a cartoon of hooded figures preparing a guillotine on a scaffold, Conor’s article is a lucid representation of the argument that staff job cuts will inevitably impact on the student experience. He ends with the call to arms: “if we come out in force, we will be heard”. At the moment of posting this blog, there was no online link to the article.

LUU put up a clarification for students on student:staff ratios online recently : “We have questioned the university on how they seriously expect to maintain a high quality learning experience for students when staff: student ratios are certain to increase. We have received assurances that those staff not currently engaged in teaching students will be expected to do so more. We will relay the exact details of this when we have them.” UCU members will be interested to know these exact details, especially those of us (i.e. by far the vast majority) who work in areas which face job cuts and where everyone has a high teaching load.

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