• Increase proportion of UK public expenditure devoted to higher education to at least the EU19 average of 1.1 per cent (up from 0.7 per cent) – a move that would bring in billions of pounds to the sector.

  • Restoration of maintenance grants and abolition of fees to be paid for through an increase in corporation tax and an increase to the top level of personal income tax.

  • Restoration of the block grant for all subjects.

  • Scrapping of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) and its replacement with a way of monitoring research work based on respect for the ability of individuals and groups of researchers to define their own research aims and priorities.

  • Scrapping of the National Student Survey and other forms of evaluation which perpetuate cultures of ‘customer satisfaction’ and quality control, and their replacement with forms of feedback that encourage meaningful reflection on teaching and learning.

  • Scrapping of the Points Based System of Immigration as it affects the higher education sector and a halt to punitive measures affecting the free movement of international staff and students.

  • Commitment by employers to nationally agreed terms and conditions for all staff and recognition of trade unions to negotiate these terms and conditions.

  • Commitment by employers to address the gender pay gap with immediate effect.

  • A commitment to staff/student ratios at the OECD average or better.

  • Commitment by employers to move away from the use of hourly-paid contracts for teachers and to offer permanent contracts after two consecutive years of teaching.

  • Salaries of senior staff and vice-chancellors to be fixed as part of a nationally agreed scale with an income differential, as suggested by Citizens UK, of no more than a multiple of ten.

  • Universities to adopt mission statements, relevant to each institution, that recognise the obligation of institutions to foster independent and critical thought, to ensure access to the university for all social groups, and to seek the participation of the local community in the life of the university.

  • Democratisation of governing bodies through the allocation of equal votes to staff and student representatives, community members, and employers’ representatives.

  • An end wherever possible to the outsourcing of university services including catering, cleaning, international student recruitment, and sickness absence reporting; where outsourcing does take place, a commitment only to consider companies who recognise trade unions and who pay a Living Wage.

  • Commitment by employers to affordable, on-campus childcare provision.

  • Extension of the remit of research ethics committees to consider, with teeth, the ethics of research for the arms trade, the military and the nuclear industry.

  • Pledge by universities not to accept donations from individuals or regimes that refuse to sign a statement on academic freedom that guarantees the right of academics and researchers in the ‘donor’ countries to teach and research without fear of state intervention.

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So far, the petition has been signed by:

John McDonnell MP

John Pilger, writer and broadcaster

China Mieville, author

Nancy Fraser, Henry A. & Louise Loeb Professor of Philosophy and Politics, New School for Social Research, New York

Richard Sennett, School Professor of Sociology, emeritus The London School of Economics

Neal Lawson, chair of Compass

Karma Nabulsi, Fellow in Politics, Oxford University

Prof James Curran, Dept of Media and Communications, Goldsmiths, University of London

Fred Inglis, Emeritus Professor of Cultural Studies,University of Sheffield

Prof Angela McRobbie, Dept of Media and Communications, Goldsmiths, University of London

Prof Ernesto Laclau, Department of Comparative Literature, State University of New York at Buffalo

Wendy Brown, Emanuel Heller Professor of Political Science, University of California, Berkeley

Nick Davies, author, Flat Earth News

Scott McCracken, Professor of English Literature, Keele University

Etienne Balibar, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, Université de Paris-Nanterre, Distinguished Professor of Humanities, University of California, Irvine.

Colin Leys, Emeritus Professor, Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada, and Hon. Professor at Goldsmiths, University of London

Andrew Ross, Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, Professor of American Studies, New York University

Lawrence Grossberg, Distinguished Professor of Communication Studies, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

Prof Toby Miller, University of California, Riverside

Prof Chantal Mouffe, University of Westminster

Prof Peter Hallward, Kingston University

Nina Power, Department of Humanities, Roehampton University

Prof Mieke Bal, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences

Clare Solomon, President University of London Union

Kanja Ibrahim Sesay, NUS Black Student Officer

Sam Mejias, President-elect, Institute of Education Students’ Union

Jade Baker, Education Officer, Westminster University Students’ Union

Luke Durigan, Education and Campaigns Officer-elect, UCL Students’ Union

Charlotte Gerada, General Secretary, LSE Students’ Union

Cameron Tait, President - University of Sussex Students’ Union

Daniel Lemberger Cooper, President-elect Royal Holloway Students Union

Louis Hartnoll, President, University of the Arts London Students’ Union

Prince Johnson, President, Institute of Education Students’ Union

Jasper Kain, Co-President, SOAS Students’ Union

Milaad Rajai, Co-President SOAS SU

Sean Rillo Raczka, Chair Birkbeck SU, NUS NEC, and Vice President-Elect, University of London Union

Ashok Kumar, Education Officer, LSE Students’ Union

Robyn Minogue, Education Officer, University of the Arts London Students’ Union

Claire Locke, Campaigns and Communications Officer, London Met Students Union

Michael Chessum, Education and Campaigns Officer – UCLU, National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts

Mark Bergfeld, NUS National Executive, Education Activist Network

Claudia Wilopo, Campaigns Officer, Royal Holloway Students’ Union

Joe Oliver, Education Officer, Sheffield University Students’ Union

Bernard Goyder, Campaigns Officer, SOAS Students Union

Hero Austin, Community and Welfare Officer, LSE Students’ Union

Nathan Bolton, Campaigns Officer, University of Essex Students Union

Patrick St. John, Founder,

Ben Manski, Democratizing Education Network, former co-chair US Green Party

Professor Wendy Wheeler, London Metropolitan University

Dr Nick Thoburn , Sociology , University of Manchester

Timothy Bewes, Associate Professor, Brown University

Jeremy Gilbert, Reader in Cultural Studies, University of East London

Mike Cushman, Secretary LSE UCU

Tiziana Terranova,associate professor in the Sociology of Communications at the Dipartimento di Studi Americani, Culturali e Linguistici, Università degli Studi di Napoli ‘L’Orientale’

Mark Fisher, visiting fellow, Goldsmiths, University of London

Bruno Bosteels, Professor of Romance Studies, Cornell University, Editor, Diacritics

Prof Neil Smith, Sixth Century Chair in Geography and Social Theory, University of Aberdeen

David Miller, Professor of Sociology, University of Strathclyde

Harald Bauder, Associate Professor, Dept of Geography, Ryerson University, Canada

So far, the petition has been signed by 800 people including…