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1. Oppose the new system in UK Higher Education

We are approaching the first term under a new regime in UK Higher Education (and particularly in England), which represents a seismic shift in the nature of public provision, marked by the removal of the cap on tuition fees.

As academic staff we wish to declare our continued opposition to a system which will increasingly exclude working class students and others from non-traditional backgrounds and promote higher education as a privilege. The irony is that while students are paying hugely inflated fees (albeit as 'loans'), universities are making cuts in academic, professional and support jobs which will seriously affect the extent and quality of educational provision.

The scapegoating of London Metropolitan University as part of a government publicity stunt to bolster its immigration policies, at the same time as university support services are to be contracted out, exemplifies the political nature of the attack on Higher Education.

The entry of Pearson Education into ‘the market’ demonstrates the developing privatisation of Higher Education and, as in health and social care, the prospect of large multi-nationals becoming key providers.

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2. MINIMUM STANDARDS REQUIRED FOR CONFERRING TITLES AND ACADEMIC ACTIVITIES

We desire, to respect the required minimum standards, required for conferring titles and academic activities, the research and development professional degrees and certificate of entitlement to related scientific areas, which operates in accordance with the National Education Law nr.1/2011.

If will renounce to these criteria, all the titles will be conferred, based on obscure criteria (EQUIVALENTS, tell those who not interested in the performance and visibility).

If so, we end up with, which have speech problems in mother tongue, to arrive Ph.D., or to handle (based on the phenomenon of competence called RELATIONS) positions the highest paid of public money.

We thank you for support.

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Noi dorim respectarea standardelor minimale necesare și obligatorii pentru conferirea titlurilor didactice din învățământul superior, a gradelor profesionale de cercetare-dezvoltare și a atestatului de abilitare, pentru domeniile științifice aferente panelurilor pe domenii, în conformitate cu prevederile Legii educaţiei naţionale nr.1/2011.

Dacă se va renunța la aceste criterii, toate titlurile vor fi conferite, pe baza unor criterii obscure (ECHIVALARI, spun cei care, nu sunt interesați de performanță și vizibilitate).

Așa vom ajunge, ca cei, care, au probleme de exprimare, în limba romană, să ajungă conducători de doctorat, sau să ocupe (pe baza unor competente numite RELATII) poziții bine plătite din bani publici.

Va mulțumim pentru ajutor.

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3. Drexel Students Against Racial and Cultural Insensitivity

The diversity statistics for Drexel's 2011 incoming class according to drexel.edu were; 6% African American, 16% Asian or Pacific Islander, 56% Caucasian, 6% Hispanic/Latino, 14% International and 2% Unknown.

Drexel University has students of multiple religions and backgrounds studying there. Giving its diversity, Drexel should be more racially and culturally sensitive. This term Drexel students created a poster than can be seen as offensive to African students. It is suppose to be a poster for Drexel weServe Co-Op in Africa (Mozambique). The poster is a depiction of safari animals with a thatch hut in the background.

The fact that the program is completely unrelated to the image leads one to believe that the image was chosen based off of the location. Drexel's Student Conduct & Community Standards states that "... are prohibited as well as materials that may be viewed as demeaning or degrading to a person or group of persons."Somehow this poster and a few other items in the past have slipped through the regulations.

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4. Goldsmiths vote of no confidence in David Willetts

Staff and students at Goldsmiths, along with the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, are campaigning for a nationwide vote of no confidence in the policies of the Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts.

Here is why:

- The Government’s policy is financially chaotic and unsustainable. The Treasury budgeted for an average fee of £7500, but now more than two-thirds of Universities want to charge £9000 for some or all courses.

- The 80% cut to the HEFCE Teaching grant will leave Universities systematically underfunded even with higher fees.

- The academic profession in the UK has never been less attractive. The debts incurred to go through both undergraduate and postgraduate study could be as high as £87,000. Money for research is also being cut in real terms and what remains is being focused on the Government’s short-term agenda.

- The consumer-producer relationship which the Government policies are designed to set up will undermine the spirit of academic community which is at the heart of the ethos of Higher Education.

- The embarrassing U-turns of recent weeks are signs of a policy in total disarray. The HE sector is too important to be thrown into chaos by half-baked ideas and rapid rethinks.

- The licensing of for-profit institutions to award degrees and the advocacy of overseas franchising by existing Universities are a threat to the reputation of the UK University system as a whole.

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5. Response to the announcement of £9000 annual fees for undergraduate study at Goldsmiths

We are writing as a group of concerned students and staff in response to the announcement on 9 May 2011 to set undergraduate fees from 2012/13 £9000 per annum.

We are aware that this decision is being taken by Goldsmiths as a consequence of the coalition Government's policies on Higher Education and sharp cuts to HEFCE funding and understand that it is motivated by the necessity to make up for this funding loss whilst keeping the institution financially viable. We should be clear however that no level of fees offers safety for the principles of access and educational quality to which Goldsmiths is committed.

We agree with Goldsmiths Students Union’s opposition to a rise in fees and its statement that:

‘participation in Higher Education should be based on a student's ability to benefit from it, rather than their ability to pay. All society benefits from large numbers of graduates (who if they are fortunate enough to earn more will of course pay more in income tax). Public funds spent on Higher Education generate a huge return on investment and forcing the costs onto students through tuition fees is misguided, shortsighted and will deter students from less well-off backgrounds from applying.’

The consequences of the vast majority of universities in the country deciding to charge £9000 fees are going to be disastrous for access to higher education in England, and will dramatically affect prospects for social mobility. With the economic viability of the fee system in shreds (a 70% default is projected) its imposition is manifestly driven by a reckless ideology of privatisation.

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6. End Lib-Dem cooperation with the Coalition

A coalition is when two or more parties in government work together, either because of similar ideology or to achieve an elective majority, theoretically reaching compromises on important subjects to achieve a roughly even legislative record (issue #1 goes to party A, issue #2 goes to party B in exchange. It's not ideal, but both parties get something they want).

This coalition fails in both of those regards.

The Lib-Dems do not, and should not, have even a remotely similar political ideology to the Conservative Party. Similarly, the Tories have little to nothing in common with the Lib-Dems, and compromises on major issues have been non-existent. Instead, only a series of humiliating concessions have been made, and the Prime Minister has seen fit to lend his weight to sabotaging even these, as has been made clear with the referendum.

This is not a coalition, it is a Tory government masquerading as a coalition, pinning the blame for their actions on the Liberal Democrats whilst slowly eating their electoral base.

It is a state of affairs that cannot continue, and thus the Liberal Democrats must salvage what is left of their reputation and leave this ship of government before they are nailed to the mast. They do not deserve the criticisms aimed at them, and if they are to avoid decimation at the next election they must realise their mistake early, pull out, and assume a campaign of coordinated blocking of the government's supposed-reforms until concessions are made on major points of Lib-Dem policy and tangible results are produced as a result.

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7. Manifesto for Higher Education

Please consider signing up to the manifesto for higher education that is part of a forthcoming Pluto Press book called 'The Assault on Universities: A Manifesto for Resistance'.

As you know only too well, students and university staff are involved in a series of crucial campaigns not simply to oppose increased tuition fees and education cuts but also to challenge attempts by the government to impose a whole new ethic to university education in this country: one that is based, above all, on the marketisation of learning and teaching.

We have included below the very short list of manifesto demands that we believe need to be part of the public debate in relation to the future of universities. We plan to run a very public campaign focusing attention on the manifesto to make sure that it is widely circulated inside academic, student and campaigning circles.

Initial signatories include John Pilger, Paul Gilroy, John McDonnell MP, Nick Davies, Etienne Balibar, Michael Lowy, James Curran, Angela McRobbie, China Mieville, Colin Leys, John Corner, Wendy Brown, Graham Murdock, Mark Fisher, Andrew Ross, Bruno Bosteels and many other academics.

We would really appreciate your support and, of course, let us know if you have any questions about the project. You can email hemanifesto@gmail.com to sign, or if you have any questions.

With best wishes Des Freedman and Michael Bailey

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8. MPs - Vote against a rise in HE fees

We, the undersigned, wish to raise our grave concerns about the vote to increase the level of the cap on student tuition fees on Thursday 9 December 2010.

The Government is, in effect, proposing a vote to triple fees before Christmas, a vote to make them ‘progressive’ after Christmas, and a vote on legislation to deliver value for money for those fees much further down the line. This process lacks proper scrutiny or democratic accountability and should be resisted by MPs and Lords of all parties.

We are deeply concerned that these proposals seek a near tripling of the cap on tuition fees to replace an 80 per cent cut in teaching funding for universities, including the removal of all public funding for subjects such as history, economics, English and politics. Suggestions that these proposals will improve quality and the student experience are not backed up by any guarantees or protections and these proposals would put our future and the world-class reputation of our universities at risk.

The proposals take an extremely risky approach to funding the higher education sector, with a rapid move to an unconstrained market of universities in which students pick up the bill for almost the whole cost of teaching. They ignore the probability that with much higher fee levels, prospective students - especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds - will change their behaviour and make judgements primarily on prices, costs, and debt.

As every other OECD country is investing in its higher education, we stand alone with Romania in cutting back and failing to fund the high level skills we need for our future economy and society. The funding universities receive is not ‘dead weight’ but is a good, strong and stable investment that brings huge economic, as well as social and cultural, returns.

The argument that the proposals to increase the fee cap to £9,000 will actually save money and pay down the immediate public deficit is also in doubt. There is a great cost to the Government, who will have to borrow additional money to provide students with higher loans.

Indeed, The Higher Education Policy Institute's verdict is that the proposals will increase public expenditure through this parliament and into the next. And the Office for Budget Responsibility’s updated November forecast shows that the impact of the Government’s plans to increase fees to £9,000 would add £13 billion to public sector net debt by 2015-16, even after the massive education funding cuts have been taken into account. As such, the argument that these measures are a necessary response to the need to reduce public spending simply does not add up.

The case has not been made to increase the tuition fee cap to £9,000 and it has not been made clear what students and their families would receive in return for huge increases in fees - and no protection mechanisms or access requirements have been properly proposed or discussed.

We believe that these points are extremely important and must be taken into account.

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9. Postpone the HE Fees Vote

We, the undersigned, would like to raise our concerns about the vote to increase the level of the cap on student tuition fees on Thursday 9 December 2010.

The Government is, in effect, proposing a vote to triple fees before Christmas, a vote to make them ‘progressive’ after Christmas, and a vote on legislation to deliver value for money for those fees much further down the line. This process lacks proper scrutiny or democratic accountability and should be resisted by MPs and Lords of all parties.

We are deeply concerned that these proposals seek a near tripling of the cap on tuition fees to replace an 80 per cent cut in teaching funding for universities, including the removal of all public funding for subjects such as history, economics, English and politics. Suggestions that these proposals will improve quality and the student experience are not backed up by any guarantees or protections and these proposals would put our future and the world-class reputation of our universities at risk.

The proposals take an extremely risky approach to funding the higher education sector, with a rapid move to an unconstrained market of universities in which students pick up the bill for almost the whole cost of teaching. They ignore the probability that with much higher fee levels, prospective students - especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds - will change their behaviour and make judgements primarily on prices, costs, and debt.

As every other OECD country is investing in its higher education, we stand alone with Romania in cutting back and failing to fund the high level skills we need for our future economy and society. The funding universities receive is not ‘dead weight’ but is a good, strong and stable investment that brings huge economic, as well as social and cultural, returns.

The argument that the proposals to increase the fee cap to £9,000 will actually save money and pay down the immediate public deficit is also in doubt. There is a great cost to the Government, who will have to borrow additional money to provide students with higher loans.

Indeed, The Higher Education Policy Institute's verdict is that the proposals will increase public expenditure through this parliament and into the next. And the Office for Budget Responsibility’s updated November forecast shows that the impact of the Government’s plans to increase fees to £9,000 would add £13 billion to public sector net debt by 2015-16, even after the massive education funding cuts have been taken into account. As such, the argument that these measures are a necessary response to the need to reduce public spending simply does not add up.

The case has not been made to increase the tuition fee cap to £9,000 and it has not been made clear what students and their families would receive in return for huge increases in fees - and no protection mechanisms or access requirements have been properly proposed or discussed.

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10. Stop Planned Cuts to Higher Education

Just before Christmas, Peter Mandelson announced that funding for higher education will be slashed by over £900m over the next three years. This amounts to £190 less in resources per student than in 2009.

This has taken place despite the fact that over 50,000 students were denied places for 2009, the UK's average for NEETs (young people not in employment, education or training) is higher than the OECD average, and the UK spends 10% less of its GDP on universities than the OECD average.

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11. Save HOST UK - welcoming international students

HOST UK is having its core funding withdrawn and may have to close within a year. This will be devastating for the thousands of international students who apply to HOST for a weekend visit in a British home, and for the hundreds of volunteer host families who offer them hospitality.

Every year more than 300,000 International Students come to this country to study at our universities. Choosing to study outside one’s own country is not just about formal education: the students also hope to familiarise themselves with a different culture, by immersing themselves in it. Unfortunately, the high concentration of international students on their courses, and the lack of occasion to get to know people beyond the campus, mean that they often return home without gaining this valuable experience. Less than 3% ever experience family life in a British home.

HOST was founded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, The British Council and The Victoria League in 1987 with the aim of fostering international friendships and promoting cultural understanding between nations, by enabling students to meet residents of Britain in their own homes. We have developed a network of Volunteer Regional Organisers in order to link students with volunteer host families, who act as ambassadors for Britain by sharing their way of life for a weekend or at Christmas.

In the past 20 years, more than 35,000 international students have benefited from this scheme. The opportunity to spend a few days living as a member of a British family, joining in their activities and learning at first hand about our customs and beliefs, makes the students feel welcome in this country and has been proved to contribute to a successful outcome of their studies here. (UKCOSA Report ‘Broadening Our Horizons’ 2004). Indeed, the demand for HOST visits is greater than we can supply.

HOST is unique in enabling UK universities and colleges to offer extra value in a way unmatched by any other country, perhaps tipping the balance when it comes to choosing a country in which to study.

The benefits these visits bring, as students return to their own countries should not be underestimated. As the graduates progress into senior positions in government, industry and the professions, their happy memories of the time spent with a HOST family engender positive feelings towards the United Kingdom and all things British. It is worth noting, as the Prime Minister seeks to encourage links with China, that more than 38% of students applying for HOST visits are Chinese.

Until now HOST has received £140,000 per annum from the British Council – surely the best value public relations campaign the Government has ever had! This grant is being phased out due to the Government’s policy of not giving block grants to NGOs, and HOST now faces imminent demise.

Whilst HOST raises over 55% of its funding through its own efforts, the £140,000 provided the stability to pay staff salaries. We have already made our Chief Executive redundant in a recent cost-cutting exercise. We are doing all we can to raise the extra funding, but cannot afford professional fundraising help. We have also found that, because of our unique nature, we do not drop into any of the categories that grant makers will fund.

HOST looks to the government to consider whether it can afford to lose the value of HOST at so small a price.

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12. IB result to be lowered to get into universities

Currently, for many universities, they ask around 32 points minimum to get into courses at university. The amount of work neede to get these points is phenominal, and when compared to what they ask from A-levels it is horrifying, as if they are trying to stop us from going to university.

To get into Oxford, for instance, they ask for a minimum of 38-42 points, which is the equavalent of five A-levels at an A grade (acordicng to UCAS). Yet for A-levels they ask only 3 As, which is a lot less work, and therefore it is totally unfair.

Universities need to realise the difference; UCAS certainly does.

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13. Article 16 of the Greek constitution should not be changed

It all started at the beginning of November 1973 when a memorial service for George Papandreou turns into a massive demonstration against the military junta in Greece, which ends in beatings and arrests.

On November 14th the students at the polytechnic occupied the school. With them are lawschool students, workers and other civilians. The activist Nikos Xilouris went into into the occupied polytechnic to give courage and hope to the students. The police are present, but more and more civilians are entering the polytechnic and standing alongside the students. The students put together a radio transmitter and soon receive the help of radio-pirates so that the signal reaches all of Athens with anti-dictatorship messages, calling the people to fight with them.

It's Thursday November 15th 1973 and students have occupied Universities in Thessalonica and Patra. On Friday 16th of November the people around the polytechnic exceed 100.000 and are constantly increasing. Later in the afternoon Papadopoulos gives order for the police to strike. The police use teargas and bullets and kill many unarmed civilians and students. Builders and workers fight the police using whatever they can find in building sites, turn over heavy vehicles and set up roadblocks in the area.

At midnight on November 17th tanks fill the streets of Athens. Cranes remove the obstacles that had been left by the civilians. The polytechnic's radio station calls out to the soldiers saying: " Our brothers, how can you shoot at us? How can you help spill Greek blood when we all believe in freedom?" and sang out the national anthem. " People of Greece, you must know! You must know that right now your children are fighting! All of greece is fighting, and especialy the people of Athens are in the streets, in front of the tanks! The students request negotiations but the dictator is preparing a demonstration of power to silence the protestors.

The tanks and military close off the polytechnic.at 3 a.m. on Saturday 17th November the order is given and a tank demolishes the entrance of the polytechnic flattening whatever obstacle the students had left. Soldiers, police and secret agents storm the polytechnic. Thousands were arrested and tortured, but the message had got through, the days of the jounda were numbered. Many students and civilians escaped in any way they could, disappeared in alleys and sought refuge at the homes of friends and relatives. These are the fights that the students before us fought so that we could have the education we have today.

Now the goverment is trying to take back what is rightfully ours, and it's time to claim it. Article 16 of the Greek constitution should not be changed!

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14. Inefficient and unregulated private universities of India, especially at Madras

How can we ensure private universities are held to high standards?

We can borrow the model from the corporate sector. Just as all companies are required by law to publish annual reports providing details of their assets, liabilities, profits and losses, the profiles of the board of directors and the management and various other financial information, every educational institution (whether public or private) should publish an annual report with details of the infrastructure and facilities available, profiles of the trustees and the administrators, the academic qualifications and experience of the staff, the courses offered, the number of students, the results of the examinations, the amount of funds available to the university and the sources of funding etc.

In addition, every educational institution must get itself rated by an independent rating agency like CRISIL, ICRA or CARE and publicly announce its rating to prospective students to enable the students to choose the institution they want to enroll in.

At one stroke, this will bring in transparency and ensure that every educational institution, whether public or private, is accountable not only to those students who are studying in the institution, but to prospective students and the public at large as well.

Public announcements of the financial and educational records of the institutions as well as their ratings by independent rating agencies will generate healthy competition between the various private institutions and will also put pressure on the Government funded institutions to work towards all-round improvement.

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15. Say NO to reservation in higher education

May 18, 2006

HRD Ministry Government of India is planning to increase the reservation for backward classes from 22.5% to 49.5% in central universities and colleges from next academic year.

It means national universities and colleges will have 50% student just on the basis of their caste not on the basis of their merit. This is definitely going to ruin our prominent education system.

This further may lead to reservation in private sector jobs and other sectors like defense and judiciary.

So please raise you voice against this motion and say NO to reservation in schools and colleges.

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16. Abandon requirement of Swiss Matura in Polish Academia

Communist government for many years regulated admission do Polish Universities blocking millions of Polish Citizens from higher education not less and German Nazi occupants.

This petition is to abandon requirement of General Certificate of Aducation (Matura) for admission to Universities (especially private) and Colleges in Poland.

Remembering Polish schools under Soviet occupation this exam was nothing but extorsion of loyalty oath by Soviet Union as graduees of Polish high schools were force to praise communism and Soviet Domination.

Pre 2nd war system stagnated by military regimes enforced by surrounding aggresive superpowers and originated from restrictive totalitarian systems of Prussian Germany and Russia seems to be also not suitable for modern capitalistic Polish state.

It it outragous that free academia especially private academia in free Polish state without Soviet and any foreign army present is corrupted by national standards and exams when milions are forced to stepping to low quality crime and prostitution friendly public schools without protection of basic right to privacy and self education, but noncotroled by tuition payments of Polish students.

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17. Close state universities in Poland

Polish universities have a dark past in extortion and of slave labour by communists at today by armed
forces. Currently they interfere
with private university operations.
This petition is to close all polish public higher institutions of education.

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18. Ban Polish scientists to enter USA

This petition is to ban Polish scientists, employees of Institutes and Universities to enter the United States.
Polish Universities are activly invgilating their students for the military to extord military service on enlists level.

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19. Abolish military obligations for Polish graduates

This peition is to abolish military obligations of any king for the graduates of Polish universities and colleges. Poland is forcing MSc recipients to military traininig on higher-rank level which is unacceptable both within NATO and the European Union.

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20. Ban grading in academia

This petition is to ban grading in colleges and universities as unconstitutional and leading to corruption.

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