University of Glasgow: Geography, medical humanities, mental health. Currently working on Long Covid, labour in universities, fantasy across the human sciences.
2 added to My Authors
Oct 2, 2018 • 4 tweets • 4 min read
Given importance of HE sector "there may be a case for future governments to consider alternative options" (incl "state-backed guarantee" or "measures enabling more risk-taking"). Powerful piece from @JMariathasan on #USS DB debate post-#JEPipe.com/analysis/blogs…#USSstrike 1/
Article argues that central problem lies in regulatory changes that transformed management of a DB pension scheme into "a risk management problem, not an investment one" 2/
There's a bonanza of new FOI responses that give us a much better sense of the range of university responses to #UUK#USS consultations from Oct 2016 and Feb/March 2017. Picking through them it's fascinating to see which universities challenged the direction of travel 1/
e.g. Aberdeen: "Aon ... & UCU have indicated that it may be advantageous to consider other models. We are interested in the Trustees views as to whether there are alternative models that could result in a more considered outcome" whatdotheyknow.com/request/508696… cc @aberdeen_ucu 2/
Sep 16, 2018 • 18 tweets • 7 min read
So with the publication of the #JEP, the issue of UUK consultations with employer institutions is back big time. Both the famous Sept 2017 survey – and now the possibility, if JEP recommendations are taken up, of UUK reassessing employers' appetite for risk.
I'm worried. 1/#JEP has emphasised the problems with how UUK framed the questions. What's really obvious if you look back Sept survey is that all the focus is on risk and on a *reduction to benefits*. And NOT on the potential to increase contributions. Or on amending the technical provisions 2/
Sep 15, 2018 • 13 tweets • 11 min read
2. #JEP has a lot to say about Test 1. Its sentence 'The view of the Panel is that Test 1 is not well understood outside of USS' is ... well ... certainly marvellously diplomatic.
"What is clear, however, is that some universities are much better placed to weather the oncoming storm than others." S&P on financial pressures affecting English universities 1/ capitaliq.com/CIQDotNet/Cred…
Lots on capital expenditure, including: "prestigious universities can afford to halt capex in the medium term, as their reputation for high-quality teaching will continue to attract students. However, not all universities can afford to halt investment in their infrastructure" 2/
TL;dr: I predict even more enthusiasm from UUK about CDC in coming months as part of long-term plan to remove DB to reduce pension liabilities 1/
REMINDER: Collective Defined Contribution (CDC) pensions share risk *between* the members of the scheme. CDC means that employers are not exposed to the risks associated with DB plans. i.e. Risk is transferred from employer ---> employees ft.com/content/64ae04… 2/
Jul 13, 2018 • 11 tweets • 8 min read
"The working paper provides the required proof & argument against the flawed valuation method adopted by #USS. Using an appropriate valuation technique, the USS is found to be in surplus as large as £10bn ...": Woon Wong #USSbriefs34 on the phantom deficit medium.com/ussbriefs/indu…
Wong: "many actuarial practices should be reviewed ... [T]here is a need to examine the economics of risk & return from a long term perspective ... given ... low interest rates, de-risking can be suboptimal & extremely expensive" #USSbriefs34 working paper medium.com/ussbriefs/indu…
In my ongoing efforts to track the very recent history of UUK/EPF I'm wondering if 'myths & misunderstandings' is a standard PR trope used to reframe a debate, or a particular discursive tic of Alistair Jarvis #USSstrikeuniversitiesuk.ac.uk/blog/Pages/Hav… 1/
In Jarvis's recent blog ('Have we "miseducated a generation" about student finance?') he argues that 'myths & misunderstandings' have allegedly led to students having – wait for it – *MISGUIDED* concerns about 'high costs & debt' 💰💰💰 universitiesuk.ac.uk/blog/Pages/Hav…#YesUniCan 2/
Jun 13, 2018 • 9 tweets • 6 min read
Your regular UUK update (or: Keeping an 👀 on the rolling out of the marketised vision of UK HE)
So, yesterday, UUK held an event on "Improving Student Retention" universitiesuk.ac.uk/events/Pages/s…#UUKSR#YesUniCan
The proud sponsor of "Improving Student Retention" was Civica, 'the leading provider of business-critical software, digital solutions & managed services for our public sector and regulated markets'
I am startled that at an event aimed at supporting women in higher education & in addressing social media trolling, the President of UUK decides to use – at least according to a tweet from @AdvanceHE – such profoundly stigmatising #mentalhealth language #mentalhealth#LFAurora
I have been disturbed about this all day. Not least because Janet Beer sits on @REF_2021 Equality & Diversity Advisory Panel ref.ac.uk/about/ed/ Could we please receive clarification, after @AdvanceHE's tweet of Janet Beer's apparently direct speech? #LFAurora
Do you want to '[F]orever chang[e] HE for the better'? Become a Partner Success Consultant @CivitasLearning – & use a 'predictive analytics platform & engaging applications' to bring 'personalized, real-time recommendations directly to the front lines' wonkhe.com/job/partner-su… 1/
As Partner Success Consultant you'll manage relationships w UK universities 'that are excited about using predictive analytics to measurably improve the student experience'. You'll leverage each HEI's 'data to find & distribute the strongest signals across the student lifecycle'
Jun 4, 2018 • 7 tweets • 7 min read
In awe of @USSbriefs colleagues & those #ucu2018 delegates who joined us over the weekend to get on the record 'What happened?' & 'What happens next?' after the extraordinary events at #UCU congress 1/
#UCU Congress was unceremoniously closed c. 1.30 last Friday. Later that afternoon @OurUCU was born. Shortly after that @USSbriefs started – from afar – gathering key eye witnesses & actors (#Motion10#Motion11) asking if they would be happy to get something on record #ucu2018 2/
Jun 2, 2018 • 8 tweets • 6 min read
In my efforts to understand configurations of discourse & representation around UK pensions in 21st century, I've been fascinated, today, by Pendragon's competition, running since 2003, titled the "Art of Pensions" artofpensions.com/exhibition.php 1/ #USSstrike
The Pendragon "Art of Pensions" is a full-scale competition – with a whole raft of categories (e.g. see artofpensions.com/winners.php?ye…). The winners & long-listed entries are all available for perusal on the Pendragon site 2/
Jun 1, 2018 • 6 tweets • 5 min read
So ... if anyone not in Manchester needs an update on what on earth is happening at #ucu2018 1/
"The leadership’s behaviour ... marks the sharpest break yet between the energy & determination of the 1000s of new members ... & the conservatism of a leadership that refuses basic demands for transparency & accountability", by @lazebniccounterfire.org/articles/opini…#ucu2018 2/