Glasgow North

You live in the Glasgow North constituency for the UK parliament.

There are 57,130 voters here, including 13,906 students in further and higher education. At least 6,380 people work in post-16 education within this constituency.

See the economic impact of universities in this constituency:

Thousands of people in this area will be affected by any cuts to higher education that result from Covid-19. As higher education is devolved to the Scottish Parliament we're asking people to write to their MSPs.

Will you help UCU to lobby for action?

Please use your influence and send an email to your MSPs today.

Please email your MSPs

A draft letter, which you can personalise, is below. Remember that you have both a constituency MSP and list MSPs who represent you. You can find out who they are and write to them via the the WriteToThem website

When you receive a reply from your MSP, it would be helpful if you could forward it to Murdo Mathison at mmathison@ucu.org.uk who can also be contacted for further advice.

Suggested text (please personalise)

Dear [insert name of MSP]

I write as someone who works in higher education and as a constituent to ask for your help in securing a fair funding settlement for universities in the 2021 Scottish budget.

The Covid-19 crisis has had a major impact on the sector, both financially and also with the way that students are taught. University staff have kept their end of the bargain, and have and will continue to deliver high quality teaching, learning and other activities for students online and remotely. We now need the Scottish government to deliver sustainable public funding for our universities.

Even before the pandemic the sector was struggling to cope with a funding mechanism which, as the 2019 Audit Scotland report on university finances indicated, meant that only around 93% of the cost of publically funded teaching was met by the Scottish government, requiring universities to cross subsidise the cost of teaching from elsewhere. The Scottish government take great credit for the decision to provide free tuition for Scottish students. This is an important and positive policy but it needs to be funded. The current shortfall in funding has led to a situation where repeated job losses occur across Scotland and my union, the University and College Union (UCU), is regularly called on to defend jobs.

Universities Scotland in their budget submission stated that public funding of university teaching in 2018/19 was £157million below its actual cost. In the same year, research was funded at only 80% of cost, a deficit of £340million and universities' debts have increased, going from a debt of £437million in 2014/15 to £1.65 billion by the end of 2018/19.

This isn't sustainable. I support the ambition that, as we see a possible end to the crisis with a vaccine on the horizon, we build back better and that, as Benny Higgins, chair of the Scottish government's advisory group on economic recovery, has said, the recovery from the Covid-19 crisis is 'education led'. The higher education sector is absolutely key to this but to fulfil this role needs to be properly funded.

Please call on the Scottish government and minister for further education, higher education, and science to fully fund the full cost of teaching and increase funding for research in Scottish universities.

Yours sincerely


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