Tag Archives: INTO

Education Minister pledges to work in partnership with UCU

Mike Russell, Education Minister, addressed UCU Congress on a range of issues and answered questions on various topics including GCU London

The UCU Scottish Congress took place in Edinburgh on March 23rd with full involvement of representatives from GCU and with a keynote address given by Education Minister Mike Russell.

In contrast to last year’s Congress when GCU members spoke, but did not present motions, almost one third of the motions at Congress this year were from the GCU branch with all GCU motions passed unanimously after a vigorous debate. These were on University Governance, GCU London, INTO, and on the implications of the GCU Staff survey.

Branch reps also took full part in the debates on Scotland’s Constitutional Future, and also on an emergency motion on the next steps in the fight to save all our pensions. John Biggam, branch Health and Safety rep, also introduced and led a session on Health and Safety at work.
The branch mounted an exhibition showing the posters, leaflets, and other materials produced over the past year, and also had a iPhoto slideshow of the years activity.

Opening Congress, a keynote speech was given by Mike Russell, the Education Minister, who announced he was keen on strong partnership working with the UCU and others. Amongst the points that Mike Russell put to congress, was the government’s belief that the existing four year degree was not a weakness, but a strength, and had to remain the cornerstone of what the Government offered.

He also addressed Congress on a range of issues, and answered questions on various topics including GCU London.
On Governance, the minister announced broad support for the two recent reviews which he wanted to take forward, so that Governance was ‘Fit for purpose, accountable, and where Governors fulfilled their roles. When questioned on conditions at ‘satellite’ institutions linked to Scottish based universities, he declared that he would expect Scottish universities to be ‘a beacon of equality and good treatment, in terms of conditions at these institutions’.

A copy of the Glasgow Caledonian UCU bulletin about the congress can be downloaded here.

Strathclyde University rejects link with INTO – Principal claims this shows university exercises ‘Due Diligence’

According to the Glasgow Student Newspaper The Journal, Strathclyde University has withdrawn from talks with INTO.

Reporting that “Under the joint venture, which has operated at Glasgow Caledonian University since 2008, overseas students are enrolled in language and foundation courses coordinated by INTO in the hope that they will then progress onto full-time fee-paying programmes at the host higher education institution” the article goes on to quote Strathclyde Principal Jim McDonald as saying the decision not to go ahead with the partnership “illustrated the due diligence undertaken by the University”

The full story can be found here.

Minutes of the relevant meeting of the Senate obtained by The Journal said: “The University considered the proposal by INTO to be unsatisfactory. While this was disappointing, it was acknowledged that the work done through internal collaborations would not be wasted and thanks were expressed to all the staff involved.

“The University would now consider the lessons learned from this.”

It was also reported that Strathclyde would now move forward by concentrating on seeking the best from existing partnerships.

Details of GCU’s continuing links with INTO can be found on this blog’s INTO page.

Union delegation to inspect plans for INTO Building this Thursday at Glasgow Caledonian University

Thanks to an eagle eyed member of staff who spotted the public notice in the Evening Times on April 1st, the day that management published its proposals for the restructuring of clusters involving compulsory redundancies.

Three years after senior management at GCU signed a deal with private company INTO, run by a property developer to recruit and teach international students, a “pre-application consultation” for building work has begun.

As part of the INTO deal with GCU it appeared that management had given a building – Peter McCann House – valued at £3 million – to Andrew Colin, head of INTO. Despite numerous union requests, details of this were never revealed due to “commercial confidentiality”. Continue reading