How to re-imagine a university – our university

Imagine…… a real University for the Common Good

University in Rainbow
A real rainbow reflects the talent of our staff

Have you ever imagined……. what would happen if GCU could be re-made, and re-imagined, run and resourced in a manner that was based on the vision, outlook and understanding of its staff and students?

What would the university look like in 2030 – how would our vision of the university differ from that of GCU’s official 2030 strategy?

In short how would a university such as ours – the University for the Common Good – operate in a post-pandemic world?

Last year, the UCU in Scotland published our vision of what we believe should be the future for Higher Education in Scotland. You can download it below. We want to look at what this means for us in GCU.

Already we have seen a massive shift in the way that many staff – mostly academic – have had to work, on-line and from home. Our professional and support staff have also been affected by pandemic working in a different and often more difficult manner.

The effect of Brexit has brought about the end of Erasmus student exchanges, and is transforming the student base that we have operated with for many years. 

During the pandemic, the experience of our existing students has been turned upside down in many ways, and the whole sector is facing uncertainty – with rising inflation now looming, and the Scottish government – although much friendlier to the sector than the UK government – are looking at re-organising the college and university sector over the next few years.

In terms of the pandemic, the campus unions have worked closely with GCU management to bring about a new way of working on Health and Safety for the university community which has allowed us to avoid many of the potential disasters that have been experienced on other campuses in the UK through their mismanagement of the crisis. But underlying issues such as workloads remain.

The UCU@GCU wants to outline our vision of what our university for the common good should look like, post pandemic. We want to examine current strategies, drawing on the expertise of our members who are all good at what they do, but believe the university could be so much better. 

We want to take the best of our university’s practice and make it better. Where we think the practice is bad or just wrong, we want to put forward an alternative vision.

The branch wants to bring together a working group who can help construct this vision, and discuss it with the other unions, and with our colleagues at other universities. We want to dialogue with management over that vision, and also put it into the public domain.  

If you’re interested in finding out more about how you can be part of this, or have definitely decided you might want to contribute, get in touch with us please – and we’ll bring those interested together to take these ideas forward.

To do that just drop off an e-mail to any of our branch officers – President: Catriona Mowat – Catriona.mowat@gcu.ac.uk; Vice President Douglas Chalmers – d.chalmers@gcu.ac.uk; Secretary Lyle Gray: l.s.gray@gcu.ac.uk  and we’ll get back in touch.

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