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The University and College Union at The University of St Andrews

Prevent

Members will have received e-mails asking them to take an online training module on Prevent, the government duty requiring universities to safeguard against extremism. UCU policy opposes the Prevent duty as it risks criminalising students and colleagues, particularly Muslim students and colleagues, and restricting academic freedom. A statement can be found here: https://ucu.org.uk/counterterrorismact . The guidance for branches linked from this page points out that boycotting Prevent training would require a successful ballot on local industrial action.

Universities have responded to the legislation in different ways. A consultation with other UCU branches in Scotland suggested that St Andrews has adopted by far the most extensive programme of training for staff on the Prevent duty. The last information from senior management UCU St Andrews was given on this subject, in August 2018, was that training was being developed and would be ‘rolled out to relevant cohorts of staff’. The branch has written to the Vice Principal Governance questioning the need for such wide training, and continues to seek a rationale for the University’s approach.

Could all members who have objections to taking this online training please e-mail ucu@st-andrews.ac.uk by Wed 17 April.

The branch committee will then know the strength of feeling of its members on this issue, and feed members’ thoughts on to the next negotiating meeting with senior management on 22 April.

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