In support of the ongoing strikes in universities across the UK, there will be no journal round-up this week.
Strikes are taking place over the decision by Universities UK (UUK) to change the USS pension scheme used by 64 universities from ‘defined benefit’ to ‘defined contribution’. This will result in a large cut to the retirement income of university staff. Younger staff will be hit the hardest. The decision was taken without consultation with staff and is justified on the basis that the USS would be in deficit if all the universities simultaneously collapsed. Independent analysis shows the scheme to be in surplus [PDF] if universities remain open. The strikes are unprecedented in size and are unfortunately due to affect one million students. University staff have faced real-terms pay cuts over the last few years and will now receive a large cut to their retirement income at a time when students have come to bear the cost of some of the most expensive higher education in the world.