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Statement in support of Warwick Students’ Union’s decision to protect academic freedom

The University of Sussex Students’ Union Executive Committee supports Warwick Students’ Union in their recent decision to protect academic freedom by opposing changes to staff regulations' protecting the employment rights of university staff.

UCU, the academic staff trade union, opposes the wholesale changes to Statute 24, claiming that it will affect job security and academic freedom. Other universities have attempted to make similar changes to regulations and have come up against opposition.

A very similar situation occurred at UCL in 2012 but thanks to the hard working united campaigning of the various unions, UCL were forced to make some substantial revisions to their initial proposals that assured better protections to staff members.

Sussex Students’ Union supports Warwick Students’ Union in their assertion that academic freedom should be a key value of all universities and that in practice, reduced job security can impact upon academic freedom.  

We also agree that any weakening of academic freedom at the University of Warwick would be detrimental to academics, to research students and to taught students and additionally, that any such weakening could pose a dangerous precedent to other academic institutions and the way in which they treat their staff.

- Students’ Union Executive

 

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