UoB in the news & The Guardian’s request for submissions of accounts of racism on HE campuses

News Uncategorized
The Guardian have put out a call for anonymous submissions on the issue of institutional and direct racism on UK university campuses. We encourage you to submit your accounts.
They ask: What are your experiences of racism on the UoB campus? Follow this link: https://www.theguardian.com/education/2018/mar/20/what-are-your-experiences-of-racism-at-university
We would also like to bring to your attention a few news stories that have focused on the University of Birmingham in the past few weeks.
1. Article published by Redbrick Newspaper
Title: Trans staff at risk from new database (New Core) as staff members’ legal names would be available to all other staff on campus: https://www.redbrick.me/trans-staff-at-risk-from-new-database/
UNISON’s work on this issue has been mentioned in the article, together with a quote. We have also published a statement by a member who is angered and disappointed that UoB have not thought about transgender staff when designing New Core: http://uobunison.org.uk/new-core-trans-staff
2. Article published by Middle East Solidarity Magazine
The UoB’s Dubai Campus has been named and shamed in the magazine’s latest issue. The full article focuses on other campuses as well, but there is a particular focus on UoB and Coventry University in particular – with a contribution by a committee member. See pp. 18-22: https://menasolidaritynetwork.files.wordpress.com/2019/03/mena-solidarity-issue-10_final_web.pdf
3. This year’s VC (and a few other senior managers) Question Time event took place on Monday. You can watch the full video recording (1.5 hours) here: https://www.facebook.com/GuildTelevision/videos/336700537051984/
Students asked some really important questions and raised concerns about (among others): harassment and discrimination on the Birmingham campus, the Dubai campus, concrete action to invest in welfare and wellbeing services. An analysis of the event can be found in the Student Newspaper ‘The Tab’: https://thetab.com/uk/birmingham/2019/03/19/what-we-were-given-instead-was-an-utter-farce-students-respond-to-vice-chancellor-dodging-their-questions-at-question-time-41071 The title reads: ‘what we were given instead was utter farce: Students respond to VC dodging their questions’.
4. Article published by Times Higher Education
This article covers the issue of workload allocation for academic staff in the College of Arts and Law (the college proposes to cut academic staff’s time for undertaking research, implying that they should be doing research in their own time):
Positive news:
1. Students organised a successful Reclaim the Night March in the city centre, with 400 people attending: https://thetab.com/uk/birmingham/2019/03/10/400-people-attend-reclaim-the-night-march-in-birmingham-on-iwd-40686
2. Students coordinating the Fossil Free campaign (asking the University to stop investing in the Fossil Fuel Industry) submitted an open letter to the VC, signed by more than 1,000 students, all Guild Officers, and dozens of staff. More details here: https://www.facebook.com/fossilfreeUoB/
We can only hope to come across positive news about the University becoming a Living Wage Accredited Employer, negotiating meaningfully with the trade unions, giving us the pay rise we deserve, bringing Edgbaston Park Hotel staff in-house…

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