CUSU is the voice of Cambridge students in the central university and beyond!
A Win for Students as DSA Cuts are Postponed!
CUSU is relieved to hear of the postponement of the cuts to the Disabled Students Allowance, following a campaign from students across the country against the change. The proposed cuts would have been very damaging to both student welfare and access to Higher Education for students with disabilities. Having campaigned vocally against these cuts and attended the parliamentary debate with our local MP, we welcome the change and congratulate those students who were involved in the campaigning process. We hope that the significant delay in the proposal will allow for adequate consultation with students to ensure that any changes no longer put students’ ability to study at risk, and maintain universities as a place where all students are given a fair chance at completing their degrees, regardless of whether students suffer from disability.
A simple postponement is not enough and CUSU will be continuing to campaign with students throughout coming academic year against the marginalisation of students with disabilities. We encourage students interested in this issue in particular or in disability and mental health issues in Cambridge more generally to contact the students’ union and get involved.
Press Release on David Willet's proposal to raise fees to £16,000
"David Willetts' recent proposal to raise Oxford and Cambridge's fees to £16,000 a year as part of the sale of the student loan book has huge implications for equality of access to higher education. Over and over again, CUSU has heard students' objections to the privatisation of student loans: exposing students and universities to these sorts of market pressures risks damaging a sector which should be provided for the public good. Willetts' proposals would pressure students to choose courses and institutions on the basis of career prospects, decreasing the value of subjects studied for their intrinsic worth, in particular degrees in arts and humanities. The proposals disregard the skills and knowledge developed within those less profitable subjects, focusing instead on financial gain, and a narrowly defined vision of career success. The financial enormity of the tuition fees proposed would make Oxbridge seem out of the question for many students from poorer backgrounds. Moreover, we fear that universities might select, or be forced to select, applicants from those groups who currently tend to earn more after graduation, further disadvantaging women, BME, working class and disabled students within the admissions procedure. CUSU hopes that the government and our university dismiss Willett's damaging recommendations, and place value on diversity and accessibility of higher education over short-term economic benefit."
University agrees to pay the Living Wage - Press release:
As of Friday 13th August, all staff directly employed by the University of Cambridge will be paid at least the living wage rate of £7.65 an hour. The move affects around 130 employees, according to a University spokesman.
The move has been described as a major victory for student campaigners. The decision, however, will not affect the university’s colleges, who employed a combined 1122 members of staff below the living wage according to a Freedom of Information request in January.
Statement from Ben Bayley, on behalf of the CUSU Living Wage Campaign.
The students who have been involved in the campaign are delighted. We have worked tirelessly to keep the Living Wage issue alive for the past couple of years. We made sure that it could not be ignored. As a result, the extent of low pay has rightfully become a major embarrassment. The University seems to have finally decided that the money they save by refusing to give their workers enough to live on is not worth it after all.
As with any attempt to make changes in Cambridge, we still have to take on the colleges. This breakthrough ought to remove any defence for those which continue to pay below the £7.65 threshold. It is a sobering fact that there are a total of 1122 college employees still paid below the living wage (as of Nov 2013). Hughes Hall, Queens’ and St Catherine’s are the only colleges which currently meet the threshold. Murray Edwards and King’s have pledged to increase wages to this minimum level. Hopefully it's only a matter of time before the others colleges follow suit.
Earlier this year, lecturers and other members of staff at the University of Cambridge went on strike in an ongoing dispute over a one per cent pay rise, which UCU say represents a real-terms pay cut of 13 per cent since 2008.
CUSU Shadowing scheme dates announced!
We’re very happy to announce that the CUSU Shadowing Scheme 2015 will be taking place on more or less the same dates it does every year (they’re good dates)! The scheme will run as follows:
- Week 1: 22nd-24th January
- Week 2: 29th-31st January
- Week 3: 5th-7th February
Applications for those who want to shadow and be shadowed will open in early October – look out for much more info to follow!
Students wanted for engagement interviews - earn £20!
Wondering what we've been up to this year? Check out our CUSU Impact reports!
CUSU Student Award Winners!
Congratulations to Suyin Calmin-Pui, Kings College Living Wage Campaign, George Morris, Ele Gower,Christ's JCR and St Catherine's MCR for winning student awards for their great contributions to student life!
Special mentions also went to: Priscilla Mensah, Dan Macmillan, Yasmin Lawal and I,Too, Am Cambridge.
CUSU LGBT+ rep nominated for NUS National Student of the Year!
Congratulations to Sarah Gibson - nominated for NUS National Student of the Year for their awesome campaigning this year!
Campaign against cuts to the Disabled Students' Allowance
The government have announced cuts to the Disabled Students' Allowance, which would see all non-medical support except in the most extreme cases cut. This will have a huge impact on students in Cambridge with disabilities and learning difficulties!
Join in with the campaign against the cuts on the 6th June and following the end of term to make sure that disabled students aren't marginalised!
Results of the CUSU referendum
Student Trustee Applications NOW OPEN!
If you're looking for experience as a Trustee, now is your opportunity to apply for a Student Trustee position with CUSU. Applications will be open for 2 weeks, until Monday 12th May. You can find our info pack here, along with this application form which can either be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or delivered by hand at CUSU reception.
We look forward to reading your application!
CUSU Women's Officer Lauren elected to NUS Women's Committee
NUS Women's Committee coordinates national women's campaigns and makes decisions on NUS policy. Congratulations Lauren!
CUSU Ethical Affairs and Energise Cambridge campaign for better environmental policies in the University.
Congratulations to CUSU Ethical Affairs team, Energise Cambridge and all the students who put together this submission to the University's Environmental Review Committee on making Cambridge a greener place to live and work! Read the full report here!
We Too Are Cambridge!
The CUSU BME (Black and Ethnic Minority) Campaign launched the We Too Are Cambridge photo campaign in order to 'highlight incidences of discrimination and stereotyping that occur within Cambridge University. We hope that this will provoke wider discussion and necessary change.' Check out the full campaign here!
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