THE lecturers' AUT union national conference last week took place at a crucial time for union activists in the universities. The government's January white paper on 'The Future for Higher Education' threatens universities with the introduction of top-up fees. It also threatens that funding will be concentrated on a small elite of institutions.
This goes hand in hand with increasing workloads for staff and threats of compulsory redundancies at Hull and Nottingham. Conference voted that money spent on the war would have been better spent on education.
Delegates condemned the Israeli occupation of Palestine and conference voted in favour of twinning with Palestinian universities. After an intense debate a proposed boycott of Israeli universities was defeated. Activists at the conference decided to launch a rank and file newspaper.