With regards to the current Association of University Teachers (AUT) industrial action, we are disgusted that the government has allowed it to come to this. Whether or not you agree that striking is the right solution is not the most important issue here. The fact that lecturers feel that this is their only option shows dereliction of duty on the part of their employers.
A high standard of university teaching is absolutely vital to the United Kingdom in an ever more competitive world and this absolutely cannot be maintained without equally competitive salaries. If the levels of pay currently given to academic staff continue, then we will see an ever accelerating brain drain across the Atlantic to the United States, and more and more of the country’s best and brightest will decide to seek alternate careers. The resulting decline in the standards and reputation of British universities will do far more damage to the value of our degrees than the strike action will do.
Tuition fees were championed by the government as a means of preventing the decline of our university standards, if this influx of new money cannot provide academics with equivalent pay to other equally skilled professions then the money seems to have been completely wasted.
Serious reform of our higher education system is needed in order to cope with increased student numbers living in an increasingly competitive world. It is growing ever more clear that our present government is not up to the task they are faced with.
University of York