14 petitions

Started 10 months ago

Petition to The University Court of Queen Margaret University, Professor Petra Wend

Review the selection of QMU's Chancellor

Currently within the institution the role of Chancellor is to be the ceremonial head of the university in which they presides over the graduation ceremony, represent the university at events and within the wider-world as the University's ambassador. This is currently held by television personality and restaurateur, Prue Leith.  However such an important role is not chosen by the students or staff whom they represent but by the University Court. The Court is the university's governing body that is responsible for carrying out the objectives of the University, ensuring the financial sustainability of the University and approving the strategic plan. Though The Court has the best interests for the University, it is not representative of it's students and staff with only 3 academic staff members representing all staff members and the Student Union President and One other Student Union Executive Member representing the entire student body. This current system is undemocratic, unaccountable and doesn't reflect the views or desires of the student body or staff. Therefore I suggest the University Court and the  Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Petra Wend, conduct and review the methods of selecting the University's Chancellor. This should especially take account the opinion of the student body and university staff, may this be done by individual consultation or by a town hall style event. In my opinion, I believe we should take a note from our fellow Scottish Universities such as University of Glasgow or University of Edinburgh in their elections of their Rector and elect our Chancellor. Candidates should be nominated by a percentage of the staff or students then an election for the role of chancellor shall be held. The Chancellor should represent an area of study within the university, be an inspirational figure that students look up to and admire or be prominent and admired alumni of the university. They should represent the university's core values and champion the causes of students and staff.  Our representatives, even if they are ceremonial, shouldn't be chosen for us and we should have a say in that choice. I therefore ask Queen Margaret University to take a review into consideration and ask you to support this cause. Thank you for reading!

Scott Blair
55 supporters
Update posted 11 months ago

Petition to Professor Richard Williams

No compulsory redundancies at Heriot-Watt University

This petition is about wanting Heriot-Watt University to withdraw the threat of compulsory redundancies, and to consult meaningfully with UCU and all the trade unions to avoid making unnecessary job cuts. The story so far... On March 3, 2017 Heriot-Watt University, announced plans to make 100 staff redundant – a saving of £4.25m and a reduction in 5 per cent of all staff employed at the Riccarton, Galashiels and Orkney campuses. At the same time, the University also set out a two-year “recruitment chill”, which is likely to see a further job losses due to the non-replacement of approximately 100 more staff. Furthermore, University management have repeatedly refused to rule out compulsory redundancies, despite the obvious impact on the student experience and the local economy. The University have cited a “Brexit effect”, which had “creat[ed] uncertainty affecting postgraduate uptake”, as well as “the UK government’s immigration policies and messaging” as key factors. However, last year alone they spent in excess of £9m on consultants. The University is proceeding with plans to fully convert the James Watt Centre into a learning and teaching facility at the cost of £4m and plans to refurbish the Edinburgh campus library at the cost of £6m – neither are likely to improve student experience if staff numbers drop by approximately 200 by the end of 2018. UCU wants Heriot Watt University to continue to be one of the best universities, and we want to support investment in the University. What about the students? These job cuts will adversely affect the student experience and course quality and choice. We believe preserving the quality of the research and learning environment is key to creating a vibrant and innovative student experience. But what can I do to help? Please sign and widely share this petition, a petition that will be presented to University Court, and aimed at simply requesting the University refrain from making compulsory redundancies. If you wish to express your concerns further, consider writing to your MP or MSP and/or email the University’s Principal, Professor Richard Williams, on

Claire Johnston
1,748 supporters