Solidarity with the SOAS Student Occupation from UCU Left


Messages of support for the SOAS Occupation can be sent to either:

Tom King, Students’ Union Co-President Welfare & Campaigns,
Hannah Slydel, Students’ Union Co-President Democracy & Education,

Message of Support to the Occupation from SOAS UNISON Branch:

This week, in response to leaked proposals to cut 184 courses across the school, SOAS students went into occupation in the Brunei Gallery suite. The occupiers also call for an end to the outsourcing of SOAS staff to outside contractors, where they are exploited on inferior terms and conditions, and for reform and democratisation of SOAS governance.

SOAS UNISON branch executive wishes to offer wholehearted support and solidarity to the students in occupation.

The course cuts proposed would put whole departments at serious risk, and reduce the number of degree programmes the School is able to offer. The methodology for determining courses to be cut is extremely unsatisfactory, relying on what the document itself admits is ‘patchy’ data from student course evaluation questionnaires.

The end to outsourcing has been a long standing demand of both UNISON and the Students Union, yet SOAS management is actually proposing to extend outsourcing to new areas of the School’s operations. This is of particular concern to our members, and completely unacceptable.

The secrecy and lack of consultation with which these cuts have been decided, and the unresponsiveness of management to student and staff concerns about outsourcing reveal a grave lack of democracy, transparency and accountability in the governance of the institution. SOAS UNISON supports the occupiers in their call for the democratisation of the university’s governance structure.

SOAS UNISON Branch Executive

SOAS UCU Executive statement of solidarity with students occupying the Brunei Gallery

The SOAS UCU executive committee sends a message of solidarity to students currently occupying the Brunei Gallery. These students have occupied this space in protest against proposals to cut courses, against the on-going outsourcing of workers, and against the undemocratic governance structures of the School.

The SOAS UCU executive supports the right of students to protest against university policy, including the use of direct action. The SOAS UCU executive also shares the opposition of students to these developments in the School, in conformity with motions already endorsed by this branch.

We call on SOAS management to respect the right of students to protest and to refrain from involving the police or the courts in their response to this occupation. We also call on SOAS management to give assurances to students that will address their concerns.

Best regards

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