Photo: Alice Wojcik
Say No to 2020 Vision

LIVE BLOG: Union of Kingston Students holds Plan 2020 meeting

On January 27, Kingston University announced that it would be launching Plan 2020, which is already in progress at FASS (Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences) and SEC (Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing).

The plan has revealed there will be many job losses among the university staff and course restructures despite a lack of consultation with staff or students.

So, with the help of UCU (University and College Union) and Unison (the leading trade union for staff employed by Kingston’s local authority), a student and staff assembly will be held on Wednesday 22 February at 12:30-14:oo in Penrhyn Road campus JG002.

Some of the university’s staff as well as the student body feels the Board of Governors should not be making decisions concerning the job cuts.

The meeting will have students and staff discussing their next course of action and how they feel about the 2020 decision.

Follow our live blog below to keep up to date with the developments.

Zara Woodcock February 22 20171:47 pm

The meeting is now over and proven very successful!

Zara Woodcock February 22 20171:47 pm

The meeting is giving students and staff, as well as committee members a few members to discuss and ask questions.

Zara Woodcock February 22 20171:42 pm

UCU response to 20/20 proposals:

“No compulsory redundancies and instead a policy of offering voluntary redundancy or redeployment of staff.”

The responses were pass unanimously on February 1 2017.

Zara Woodcock February 22 20171:37 pm

The proposal will mean the affected staff will be working twice as much with double the work load. Should there not be some form of standard?

Zara Woodcock February 22 20171:35 pm

This case should be taken back to the Vice Chancellor. If it doesn’t work, then they go to the Board of Governors.

Zara Woodcock February 22 20171:34 pm

There are over 200 signatures on the petition without even having to promote it. Go to the Student Union with any concerns or questions. Please sign the petition:

Zara Woodcock February 22 20171:29 pm

“We wouldn’t have had all these opportunities,” recent graduate speaking on the many course combination options. Many students choose Kingston University due to the vast amount of course to pick from. “I can continue my passions without picking one or the other.”

Zara Woodcock February 22 20171:26 pm

Staff and students can’t do anything to change the decisions that are already made by the board. All they can do is improve future decisions.

Zara Woodcock February 22 20171:23 pm

Clarissa and Josh, two Honours graduates that are affected by the course cuts, are up to speak. Josh recently graduated in Drama and International relations.

Zara Woodcock February 22 20171:17 pm

“The student experience will be compromised.” Management are not interested in the quality of learning for the students.

Zara Woodcock February 22 20171:15 pm

“The people making these decisions have been poorly informed,” Andy said. Again, lack of communication is a huge problem staff agree they have when it comes to Senior Management and the Board of Governors.

Zara Woodcock February 22 20171:14 pm

The proposal is to completely close down Geology which angers staff and students as Geology has a 70 year history. Andy is disappointed in the choice.

Zara Woodcock February 22 20171:12 pm

Geography itself is a success story within SEC as it picked up in the league tables, so it’s doing mostly fine.

Zara Woodcock February 22 20171:11 pm

Head of Geology and Geography Department, Andy Swan, is up to speak.

Zara Woodcock February 22 20171:10 pm

There will be a possible ‘Combined Arts’ degree in 2018, where it’s dancing, music, arts, all together, which a lot of staff and students are disappointed about as it does not require prior skills.

Zara Woodcock February 22 20171:09 pm

“We don’t really about anything that’s going to happen next year,” says Tim. It will most likely be “chaotic”.

Zara Woodcock February 22 20171:08 pm

Birmingham Children’s Hospital has been so successful thanks to communication between staff and management. The hospital hasn’t been working as well merely a few years ago.

Zara Woodcock February 22 20171:06 pm

Tim, lecturer of Music for the past 24 years, is up to speak.

Zara Woodcock February 22 20171:05 pm

Some of the lecturers will be having a meeting on March 7 to discuss the matter further. All staff and students are welcome.

Zara Woodcock February 22 20171:05 pm

Staff feels, in order to be progressive, everyone has to work together and collaborate rather than work through surveillance and instructions.

Zara Woodcock February 22 20171:03 pm

“We should have a teaching and learning scholar,” in the University. “We’ve always had instructions from the top but we’ve never had ongoing conversations.”

Zara Woodcock February 22 20171:01 pm

Staff do not want the “dumbing down” of the curriculum, which is “essentially what is happening with the cuts”. 

Zara Woodcock February 22 20171:01 pm

“In this university, we welcome and celebrate the linguistic and cultural differences,” talking about Kingston University.

Zara Woodcock February 22 201712:59 pm

“Avoiding a cuts culture and listening to staff on what we should do.”

Zara Woodcock February 22 201712:58 pm

The Vice-Chair of the UCU committee, Valerie Coultas, now takes the floor.

Zara Woodcock February 22 201712:57 pm

“All of us is what makes Kingston great,” says the Chair.

Zara Woodcock February 22 201712:57 pm

Hopefully a noticeboard can be set up so students can ask questions.

Zara Woodcock February 22 201712:56 pm

Staff do not want any compulsory redundancies. Staff do not have the time of thinking of what might happen yet are forced into this position.

Zara Woodcock February 22 201712:55 pm

The Chair of the Unison branch says, “most members are support staff and we stand by our colleagues.”

Zara Woodcock February 22 201712:48 pm

Staff will hopefully be able to bring the issues and ways of improving to the Vice Chancellor and the Board.

Zara Woodcock February 22 201712:47 pm

Kingston can improve if staff stands up and speaks out to management and the system.

Zara Woodcock February 22 201712:46 pm

“There’s no doubt Kingston is very broken,” speaking on the infrastructure and the system, not the staff or students.

Zara Woodcock February 22 201712:46 pm

What as a union and what as a staff body can we do? “We’re failing as an institution,” Rosie says when speaking about the league tables, but she feels the staff are committed and are doing a fantastic job.

Zara Woodcock February 22 201712:45 pm

“Plan 2020 has won their objective,” says Rosie. “It has the benefit cutting a bit of staff and saving a bit of money.”

Zara Woodcock February 22 201712:44 pm

With question 36, ‘I am committed to helping the university achieve its aims’, 79% of the staff feel positively.

Zara Woodcock February 22 201712:43 pm

Rosie, the first speaker, begins speaking on the staff survey and its key findings.

Zara Woodcock February 22 201712:39 pm

Staff have urged Senior Management to be more clear with students on how their courses and future at the university plays out.

Zara Woodcock February 22 201712:38 pm

With the question ‘ I believe the Senior Management team has a clear vision for the future’, 43% of voters feel negatively.

Zara Woodcock February 22 201712:36 pm

Plan 2020 has 3 phases to it, but has a much more extensive program.Senior management have went to the Board of Governors without consulting staff.

Zara Woodcock February 22 201712:34 pm

The room has filled up. The meeting should begin very soon.

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