Petition to Jo Johnson MP
Stand up for Universities teaching freely on Brexit
People being free to share thoughts and ideas on issues within society is one of the beauties of democracy. This week we learned that Conservative MP Chris Heaton-Harris wrote to university vice-chancellors requesting information about teaching on European affairs relating to Brexit, the name of individual staff teaching this subject, all materials used and links to classroom discussions. As a professor of law and government & Dean of my law school at Durham, I am appalled at to see this, and know it could intimidate academics - making them feel like the government is monitoring them. No vice-chancellor should be forced to act on this request and that's why I'm calling on the universities minister Jo Johnson to make this clear through a statement. Only a few vice chancellors have gone public. And thanks to them, this has been exposed. The letter has caused some parts of the press to call of information on "anti-Brexit" bias Heaton-Harris is a junior government whip and it is claimed that he was researching for a book. He should not be using his political position, or the House of Commons letterhead in this way. A clear statement from the universities minister, Jo Johnson, is required to bring this unfortunate matter to an end.We, the undersigned, call on Jo Johnson, to contact every university vice-chancellor receiving the letter from Chris Heaton-Harris MP in writing to confirm that no university is required to release the information Heaton-Harris requested. In so doing, he would reaffirm his government's commitment to academic freedom, debate, and the high quality of teaching standards at our country's higher education institutions. We are global leaders that should be championed not enemies to be silenced.
Petition to University of East Anglia, Professor Richard Andrews
Keep Counselling Courses and Centre at the University of East Anglia
The University of East Anglia is proposing to close its famous Counselling Centre. Please help us to keep it running. Mental illness is an issue that touches us all... yet we all deserve to enjoy mental wellbeing. At any one time 1 in 4 people will be suffering from a mental health issue - for the population of Norfolk alone this is 200,000 people. According to the National Union of Students (NUS) 78% of students report having suffered a mental health issue in the last year. With the recent media coverage of Princes William, Harry and Kate Middleton, and Lady Gaga mental health and talking therapies are finally starting to get the coverage it needs. The UK needs more people trained to provide support for those suffering from mental health issues… And yet, on 19th April 2017, the University of East Anglia informed students that all of its' Counselling courses would be closing down from September 2017: • PG Certificate in Person-Centred Counselling • PG Certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Skills • PG Certificate in Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapy Skills • PG Diploma in Counselling • MA in Counselling (Year 1) In addition, the Counselling 'Centre' which provides these courses, and has historically provided much needed research into the effectiveness of counselling therapies, will also be closed. The University’s decision has far-reaching implications for the lives and well being of students and staff on the University campus and also impacts on the provision of mental health care services throughout Norfolk. Students who joined the current PG Certificate courses are no longer able to complete the full flow of their training at the UEA to practice professionally despite having been told that that all courses would be available to them when they signed up last year. Sadly news of the cancellation arrived too late in the academic year to enable current students to apply for training elsewhere, thereby curtailing their ability to become fully trained counselling practitioners. The Wider Picture: Students on Diploma courses currently provide FREE counselling services for the University campus population (approx. 15,000 people) AND they VOLUNTEER for many MENTAL HEALTH CHARITIES in the wider Norwich, Norfolk and East Anglia area. Once qualified, UEA trained counsellors go on to work in NHS services, Voluntary Organisations and wider practice. The University has not yet explained how these needs will be met in the future. Talking therapy has been proven to work. It can save lives. The UK needs more people to support the mental health and well being of its population. This need has never been more acute. Yet the UEA is now withdrawing this outstanding, nationally recognised training that it has been providing for many years. Please join us by signing our petition to stop the University of East Anglia from going ahead with this sudden halt in the provision of counselling training courses in the region and help us to continue to provide the vital service to current students, local charities and NHS organisations, and wider Norfolk population. #keepcounselling https://www.facebook.com/keepcounselling/ Partner Petition