Birkbeck UCU and Birkbeck UNISON invite you to join us for an evening of discussion and debate on the Higher Education White Paper.

Another Fine Mess: A No-Confidence Conference on the Higher Education White Paper

14 July 2011, 6.00-9.00pm. Room B34, Malet Street, Birkbeck College

Roundtable discussion and preparation for action. All welcome.

More speakers are currently being confirmed. With contributions from:

· Andrew McGettigan (Freelance researcher)

· Max Watson (UNISON London Met)

· Gurminder Bhambra (Warwick University & Campaign for Public University)

After barely a year in government, the Con-Dem coalition has thrown English Higher Education into disarray. The Browne Report-White Paper double whammy spiked the costs of attending University, abolished teaching funds for the arts, humanities and social sciences and now promises to prise open our sector to profit-seeking providers.

These sweeping and unmandated changes are being forced through our sector without democratic consultation or deliberation among those who actually work and study at universities. The incoherent and opaque character of the Higher Education reforms are leaving even senior management in a quandary. The reforms refuse to acknowledge English Higher Education as a public good, but they don’t even make sense as an attempt to impose the discipline of the market.

Following the ‘no confidence in David Willetts’ votes at Oxford and Cambridge, we are seeking to galvanise University of London colleagues into similar campaigns of no- confidence among our constituent colleges in the coming months. The new academic year will intensify the challenges faced by our sector, and we want to be armed with ideas and initiatives to defend our collective institutions from the Coalition’s educational vandalism.