Protect academic support for Essex students

Despite repeated claims about the central importance that the University of Essex places on providing academic skills support that will enable growing numbers of Essex students to achieve a truly transformational education, one of the key tools by which this aim might be achieved – the tailored academic skills support provided by professional educators in the Talent Development Centre – is in the process of being radically changed in ways that will undermine its capacity to do so. These changes involve the following:

  1. reducing the number of teaching staff despite growing student numbers,*
  2. removing scholarship and programme development from Tutor workload calculations,
  3. forcing full-time tutors to go part-time (shifting them from 1.0 FTE to 0.8 FTE) without reducing teaching loads,
  4. subsidising this loss with new staff on fixed-term contracts in a process of casualisation,
  5. reducing admin support,
  6. closing the TDC helpdesk–an important focal point for students seeking academic help.

These changes will seriously affect the quality of provision for students, reducing the TDC’s ability to provide focused and appropriate support. It will also have knock-on effects for lecturers, who will need to spend valuable discipline-specific teaching and research time providing students with specialist academic and language skills teaching – a task for which they are not trained and which their workloads cannot accommodate.

Further, if TDC colleagues are not given scholarship/development time, that does not necessarily mean they will stop undertaking those activities. They are professionals, so they will continue to do this work because it matters to them to do the best job they can for their students. In such cases provision might remain unaffected – but only on the back of the unpaid labour of our colleagues.

This is not the behaviour of a university that values its staff or its students. Essex deserves better.

We the undersigned call on the University to immediately halt this reduction/diminution of the TDC. The University should not be removing experienced and much-needed staff in this area when 100 new teaching posts are being created elsewhere. We ask that the University recognise that at a time when students and academics need more not less skills training support we should:

  • keep full-time experienced staff in sufficient numbers to cope with growing student demand,
  • acknowledge that teachers require scholarship and programme development time to deliver excellence in teaching. Full-time teachers should have full-time contracts,
  • act on the University’s commitment to renounce the scandalous reliance on casualised work that undermines the integrity of the higher education sector,
  • enter into immediate discussions with UCU to agree a plan that reduces redundancies and casualisation rather than increases them.

*see footnote at the bottom of the page

Protect academic support for students at Essex

The University is in the process of reducing Talent Development Centre (TDC) staff numbers and moving all full-time tutors to part-time hours - but without reducing their teaching loads. This has been achieved by

1. removing scholarship and programme development from tutor workloads, and
2. reducing hours in the summer period and thus effectively casualising teachers’ contracts.

These changes will seriously affect the quality of provision for students and will reduce the TDC’s ability to provide focused and appropriate support.

We are asking the University to reconsider their decision, and to recognise that teachers require scholarship and programme development time to deliver excellence in teaching. Full-time teachers should have full-time contracts.

Also, at a time when students and academics need more not less skills support, the university should not be making experienced staff in this area redundant.

One of the TDC’s two existing senior tutor (academic skills) posts is being abolished so that a senior tutor (numeracy) post can be created in its place. But it should not be necessary to sacrifice a senior tutor post in academic skills/English language in order to improve numeracy support.

Instead, just ONE of its 100 new teaching posts could be allocated to the TDC to fund this new numeracy post. The restructure also removes the TDC manager’s post, which will add to the admin load of those who remain.

This is not the behaviour of a university that values its staff. Essex students deserve better.

We call on the University to halt the reduction/diminution of the TDC and to recognize that all teachers require paid hours for scholarship and programme development.

**your signature**

771 signatures

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Signed:
771 Iman Taha
770 Daniel O'Sullivan Australia
769 Chris Banister Regent's University London
768 Cara Darroch University of Essex
767 Hilary Mullen Buckinghamshire New University Solidarity with Colleagues and Students at Essex University
766 Louisa Sadler University of Essex More shortsighted, penny-pinching idiocy. Is this still a university?
765 Jane Sansbury Petroc
764 Iain Stevenson CAMBRIDGESHIRE
763 Matt Cooke IDI/University of Hertfordshire Yet again, the sector is undermined by casualisation. Shame on Essex University.
762 Cydney Barrows Essex COLCHESTER
761 sheila marrinan University of Essex Colchester
760 Jakki Oldfield Essex Colchester
759 Clare Maxwell University of Leeds
758 Lynne Denyer Sussex
757 Elizabeth Watkins West Sussex I think this is a shameful way to treat dedicated staff, and it makes a mockery of the university's claim to provide support for students from all backgrounds
756 Senay Bilen New City College My son in Essex University and had some chats with previous students.
755 Peter Wigglesworth Crawley I agree with the petition's proposals
754 Tim Denyer
753 John Fernandes Retired - present Chair Council of Academic Freedom and Academic Standards The austerity poicy of this Govt. continues to do damage to the educational standards in UK.
752 Aviah Day Durham University (Formally Essex University)
751 Heather Symonds Imperial dyslexia consultant VT Attacks on support have been growing for a decade . Mission statements proclaim support for inclusion,WP, mental health and disabilities. And the corporate management just cut. Been there 5 years ago
750 Andrew Pritchard andy_cinzia@yahoo.it
749 Emily Wheeler University of Leeds
748 Lisa Clughen Nottingham Trent University I know first-hand the positive value of specialist Academic Support Centres. The contribution of this centre to the student experience goes way beyond academic support. The university does not seem to understand the specialist nature of this work and how long it takes to develop it. Offering academic support across the board is no easy task. The centre should be increasing, not dimisnishing.
747 Simon Gamble University of Bristol The Talent Development Center at Essex has an excellent reputation and I've seen them present their great work at conferences. To undermine this and enforce casualisation in this way is a huge mistake. Essex you need to appreciate what you've got.
746 Tracy Ryan Merseyside Liverpool
745 Carol Cody UCU City of Liverpool College
744 Pam Gadsby University of Essex (recently retired) I'm appalled at the lack of respect shown by Academic Section management to this team of dedicated professionals during the review process. Extremely poor judgement to cut back on these essential areas of academic support.
743 Julian Wells LDSE Shocking that vital support services are undermined in this way
742 D Parsons University of South Wales
741 RUTH MUNRO INTO Newcastle University
740 Gerard Clough Royal Holloway
739 Kalina Stamenova Essex Colchester
738 Joy Robbins University of Leeds
737 Lucy Pearce University of Essex
736 Eirini Konstantinidou University of Essex
735 Angela Hulme University of Leeds Staff deserve to be valued by their institution and this behaviour shows scant regard for their dedication and hard work.
734 Anna Murawska Into Newcastle University
733 Melanie Aird Balancing the books by forcing staff to work for free (as they will in order to maintain professional levels of output) is a very short term solution.
732 Sandra Haywood University of Bath
731 Rachel Taylor University of Essex With widening participation it would seem logical to widen provision not reduce it.
730 Lachlan Moyle Queen Mary University of London Disturbing news from the institution named 'University of the Year' at the Times Higher Education Awards 2018
729 Wendy Greenfield
728 Christine Bellamy Essex Colchester
727 Natalie Sedacca UCL
726 Anne Heller English Language Education, Centre for Open Learning, University of Edinburgh
725 Jen Baker Warwick
724 Gavin Gavin University of Leicester
723 Berenice Guyot-Rechard KCL
722 Dion Georgiou University of Chichester
721 Shiobhan Low University of Essex
720 Katy Walsh Lancaster University This does big value students of staff and will be detrimental in the long term.
719 Christopher WALSH University of Sussex
718 Faye Savage Previously UoE. These services were vital to me as a student and should be protected.
717 Iwona Winiarska-Pringle University of Glasgow
716 Andreea Busu University of Essex
715 Ana-Maria Amzoiu University of Essex, Colchester The TDC team have been really helpful especially now as I am approaching graduation. I am disappointed that such a huge part of the University is facing these hard times. The students need them!!!
714 Jane Dabbs Colchester Disappointed that such a large local employer is moving towards casualised labour. Maybe share this with alumni who may be supportive of aims
713 Joanna Al-Youssef
712 Linda Wonnacott Dovercourt Essex The plans seem a really backward step
711 Hannah Jones University of Edinburgh
710 Liz Algar University of Essex
709 Alex Trask Patways
708 Alex Reynolds AUB
707 Mandy Bannerman University of Essex The TDC team provides invaluable support; their expertise and dedication make a huge difference to the experience of so many students. Their work should be prized, not undermined in this way.
706 Majd Yafi Essex University
705 Helen Hewertson University of Central Lancashire
704 Daryl Streat
703 Elias Tawil Outside the United States
702 kevin nunn Colchester Trades Union Council
701 Jacqueline Reynolds Essex Without this additional support I would not have know what direction I was going with my work. Please protect academic support as student rely on it .
700 frances newman
699 Elisa Vasquez-Walters Unison Eastern Region Probation
698 Anthea Cowen University of Bedfordshire I am appalled at the plans that the University of Essex has to remove and reduce front-line academic support to students.
697 Roger Jones Chicago City Colleges
696 Fiona Broom Colchester Institute No to reducing student support
695 Peter Fenton University of Nottingham, China
694 Raynee Gutting University of Essex
693 Sally Theobald Please select Colchester
692 Christopher Eustace Essex Pathways; University of Essex This is an extremely worrying trend, and one that simply cannot continue. The TDC and Essex colleagues have my full support, and I hope this petition is testament to the number of academics who strongly contest this sanction.
691 Terri Edwards Durham
690 Jonathan Smart Freelance (despite e-mail address) As I have no knowledge of the extent to which reasonable discussions between management and EAP practitioners (and other affected) has taken place, it is difficult to comment, other than to express my deep concern regarding such an apparently retrograde step.
689 Bojana Petric Birkbeck
688 A-K Reck University of Portsmouth a very worrying trend indeed
687 Louise Ward Essex University The amount of support that is being cut is appalling at a time when we have so many foundation degrees and students are becoming more needy.
686 Annette Lawson retired
685 Rowena Macaulay Smart Networked Environments, Parkside, University of Essex For 20 yrs the TDC have been among my closest colleagues - a great team of highly skilled/professional teachers supporting students across the spectrum of nationality, academic culture & ability. Swelling student numbers & diversity make this ever more vital. The TDC should be the Uni’s biggest growth area, not fighting to retain meagre staff nos & having its creativity & responsiveness squeezed
684 Lucy Watson University of Southampton
683 Ken Plummer Essex This sounds like a very regressive move. Essex has built up an excellent system of student support over many years and this sounds like it is being reduced, even eliminated, with talented staff being removed. Oh dear! All very worrying.
682 Marie Juanchich University of Essex
681 Polly Ann Flinders University of Huddersfield
680 Robert Farmer University of Northampton
679 Ralitsa Kantcheva Bangor University
678 Carly Sharples Norwich University of the Arts
677 Melisa Rinaldi UEL
676 Angela Rogers
675 Sarah Kafala University of Essex
674 Yannis Lignos UEL Short-sighted. Essex got a Gold in the TEF -- looks like some of them do not wish to follow-up well on their achievements.
673 Tom Burns London Metropolitan University
672 Basim Musallam University of Cambridge Cambridge
671 raymond Geuss university of cambridge
670 gina wisker University of brighton
669 Allyson Noble Heriot Watt University, Dubai Campus The management's treatment of professional staff at Essex is disgraceful. It shows a lack of respect for the work being carried out by Academic Support staff.
668 Anna Alexandrova Cambridge
667 Daniel Spence Albert Sloman Library, University of Essex
666 Terry Felgate Essex University Seems counter productive and rather concerning.
665 Simon Hewitt University of Leeds
664 Renée Reitsma King's College London Academic skills tutoring is an essential offering for any serious university.
663 Sarra Facey
662 Sylvia Broughton QMUL
661 Charlie Kirk university of essex All about the money, honey.
660 Tom Flynn School of Law, University of Essex Colchester
659 David Bowers I am a former Head of Learning Development at an English university, involved in national initiatives relating to HE academic skills support. Over the years, the TDC staff at Essex have engaged in professional development and contributed significantly to national networking events on behalf of the sector. To demoralise these staff by no longer recognising this element of their work is deplorable.
658 Siobhan McGrath Durham
657 Joe Williams Durham University
656 Susan Blackwell Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Our students at the VU have academic skills as part of their degree programme and are taught by academic staff.
655 Claire Harrington Essex
654 Peta Jessemey
653 emma kittle
652 Camilla Fox University of Essex
651 Sarah Hughes Durham University
650 Elise Galand University of Essex
649 Martin Price Durham University
648 John Wainwright Durham University
647 Niall Cunningham Geography Department, Durham University From experience here, this sort of 'restructuring' is not only bad for morale, it is profoundly counterproductive.
646 Chris Fox University of Essex
645 James Wilson London As a former Royal Literary Fund Fellow and Consultant, I was dismayed to read this news. A few years ago I ran a couple of short writing courses for post-graduates at Essex, and – while I was impressed by the students’ attitude, and their eagerness to learn – it was clear that the level of academic skills provision at the university was completely inadequate. To undermine it further now seems a) g
644 Vanessa Baxter University of Essex As a parent of two students at another university who have both used this type of service,I've seen the direct benefits to them of being able to access it
643 Caspar Pearson University of Essex
642 Stefani Goga Oxford Brookes
641 Greg Cadge University of Essex
640 Kehinde Adeyemo Essex
639 LLoyd Shankley University of Essex
638 Dragos Pavel Accommodation, University of Essex I agree that students pay a lot to study here and the University should not be taking support away from them, nor should it try to unload more work onto the existing staff. The ultimate goal should be providing an education to students. Also, considering the University is run by business people which is why they should know, better than anyone else, that you have to spend money to make money.
637 Gustav Kuhn Goldsmiths, University of London
636 Ayoola Crooks Essex university students need these services*.
635 Ayoola Crooks Essex People need these surfaces. Not everyone has the same opportunity of college and school. This extra support helps bring those who are lacking up.
634 mike lilley
633 Hannah Onslow University of Essex
632 Charles Ham
631 Samantha Woodward University of Essex
630 Helen Croft
629 Scott Seton University of Essex This is an injustice, it can't allowed to pass.
628 Paul Skarratt University of Hull
627 Atena Andreea Molcut University of Essex
626 Natalie Noiyasoong Karlsson University of Essex
625 James Anthony Pey Essex Whilst there is always room for part time academic work in higher education it should not be at the expense of required full time academic roles if standards are to be maintained and improved. Income inequality in British Universities needs a thorough review!
624 Julie Hartill Imperial College London
623 Tumeka Ngojo University of Essex
622 SARA SHERIFF Essex
621 Lauren Beard-Robinson University of essex
620 Harry Bond University of Essex
619 Stephen Jordan University of Essex I agree wholeheartedly that "this is not the behaviour of a university that values its staff or its students."
618 Amy Sheekey
617 Deepa Govindarajan Driver University of Reading
616 Tomaso Roche U o E
615 Sarah Sherratt University of Essex We do not have enough student support available to meet student need now. The pressure of taking care and monitoring vulnerable people falls to academic staff. The situation leads to greater stress levels for both parties and has a wider impact on all students when support/tutorial time is used for those actually professional mental health and wellbeing services.
614 Nic Warren University of Essex
613 Hannah Pyman University of Essex
612 Hannah Groom University of Essex
611 Audrey Guinchard Essex The rest of the project is good but I fail to understand why contact hours is roughly the only measure for the posts. It's ignoring significant elements of the jobs
610 Arianna Sparagna
609 Annemarie Brown University of Essex
608 Isobel Irwin Essex University The TDC is so important to students
607 Camille Cronin School of Health and Social Care, Southend Campus I am concerned of the lack of specialist support for students and academic staff as the University continues to address widening access to students. While this is excellent initially, providing support for those with different learning needs is essential. I have found working in partnership with TDC provides excellent foundations for learning and addresses attainment, confident and continuation.
606 Lucy May University of Essex, Southend-on-Sea
605 Gorka Mercero University of Liverpool
604 Hayley Milburn University of Essex The TDC do a fantastic job and should not be undermined in any way. If anything, they need more staff, not less!
603 Alia Al Omrani Essex Uni
602 Terence Bonner
601 Katherine Gahagan Freelance language consultant Essex & Rome
600 Eric Smith Essex
599 Aldona Norkus University of Liverpool
598 Janet Dennis
597 Callum Plowright University of Essex
596 Ann Kenneally Southend hospital ex Essex uni student
595 Gillian Watt Open University (Retired) Yet another attempt at putting money and profit before the needs of students. An example of the continuing undermining of academic standards. I worked at The University of Essex for many years and the support given to students was the best, it went the extra mile to help students achieve their potential. Staff cuts and casualisation are bad for students.
594 Bob Watt Former UCU lay officer at Essex; sometime Head of School of Law at Essex; formerly Reader in Law at Essex; retired Professor of Law
593 Fiona Annand Essex At a time with skills shortages we should be enhancing education not cutting back
592 Petra Rosier
591 Rachel Rich Leeds Beckett
590 Erna von der Walde Alumna of the University of Essex
589 Emily Cornell Colchester
588 Ben Turpin University of Essex This restructure risks placing additional pressure on both students and staff and sets a worrying precedent for the casualisation of teaching and learning support roles more broadly.
587 Manuel Barcia University of Leeds
586 Rachael Newman Portsmouth
585 Louise Timms SHSC Without the support and interventions provided by this centre several of the practising professional health practitioners who are now qualified, would never have completed their training programmes. Tge are a vital resource
584 Ian Mounteney UoE
583 Clare Carpenter-Timmis Cornwall Bodmin
582 Ian Harris University of Essex This is too important an area of work to target for efficiency gains. losing these highly skilled and experienced colleagues will undoubtedly lead to increased fragility in our skills infrastructure to the detriment of student experience and retention.
581 Niamj Taylor-Blow Southend University NHS Foundation Trust
580 Amalia Khodr University of Essex
579 Harriet Lock NHS
578 Chiaki Kato University of Essex
577 Laura Beauchamp University of Essex Students pay a huge amount for tuition and they deserve support when studying. Also, staff should be secure in their work and not have their posts reduced or casualised.
576 natalie cowan university of essex Southend-on-Sea
575 James Sumpter Health and Social Care - Southend I see on a daily basis the importance of this work and the incredible impact it can have on the student experience. As an academic and educationalist of over 20 years experience, I find this strategy incomprehensible.
574 Elizabeth Norris Essex
573 Sara French UoE As per teams are being over stretched and are expected to take on more work with no extra pay. Our remit will soon be so large we will be completely ineffective
572 Marie Gribbin University of Essex In an era when we are accepting lower and lower entry grades from our students there has to be some recognition that the students need more and more academic support and not less. I do not support the changes to the TDC and worry that this University (despite being awarded University of the Year) is going in completely the wrong direction.
571 James Padovani University of Essex Unite The Union
570 Hazel Cromar Univeristy of Essex
569 Kaez Condon University of Essex
568 Isobel Eddyshaw University of Essex
567 Louise MacLean University of Essex
566 Stephanie Ozegin Essex university Do not cut down
565 Nita Karia University Of Essex
564 Scott Forrest University of Essex
563 Kevin Watson Oxford Brookes University Widening participation is a great thing but we are seeing students with increasingly complex needs who need complex interventions to help them reach their potential. Casualising contracts may have short term gains but the longer term prognosis is not good, for staff morale and professionalism or the student experience.
562 Katie Moore University of Essex
561 Ian Johnson University of Portsmouth This type of work, and the research behind it, needs increasing not decreasing in a neo-liberal educational climate. Fix the system rather than cost-cutting the very necessary support for students to survive within it!
560 Pinar Aksu UEL
559 Alexander Wallace-tarry Essex University
558 Patrick Lown University of Essex
557 Godfried Croenen University of Liverpool
556 Enrique Matsumoto University of Essex
555 Emma Claydon University of Liverpool
554 Jamie Seakens Essex
553 Clara Hiskey Leeds
552 Gemma Hakins University of Essex
551 Diane Stevens Essex Colchester
550 Lisa McKee School of Health and Social Care, University of Essex
549 Dilwyn Owen Wolverhampton University
548 Rubén Zamora Birkbeck college
547 Iris Clapp EU invigilator If this short-sighted policy is adopted, Essex University will no longer be a university. The latter is not just about student numbers - it is about quality teaching and support. Such a policy takers away both. Not a wise move in every aspect.
546 Timos Almpanis Kingston University
545 Terry Finnigan University of the arts london
544 Tracey Costley University of Essex
543 Syd Kent Colchester Money, money, money, it’s all about the money.
542 Victoria Beckwith University of Essex
541 Julia Miller The University of Adelaide
540 Victoria Mant Essex
539 Ma Khoonarat Thetsri University of Essex
538 Amma Frimpong Essex university Essex
537 Gloria Good Birkbeck College
536 Steph Driver University of Essex I have just referred to TDC about a third of the students whose assignments I’ve marked. What was the point?!?
535 Pauline Rendall Essex Wivenhoe
534 Daisy Malt University of Essex
533 Athanasia Pliakogianni University of Bamberg The issues are the same all over Europe. Same problems, common fights!
532 Clint Verdonschot Ethical Theory and Moral Practice: An International Forum
531 Chloe Bearman University of Essex
530 Megan Sharman
529 Sarah Dalton Wivenhoe
528 Sue Teale The University of Birmingham We can only provide quality support for our students, if we are secure in our jobs.
527 Philip Finn
526 James Stannard
525 Owen Robinson University of Essex
524 Claudia Alsdorf Department of Language and Linguistice, The University of Essex I am very concerned about this development as it will negatively impact on students' welfare and success
523 Nic Blower University of Essex
522 jack blount university of essex please protect our students
521 Terence Vasey Colchester Absolute disgrace
520 Anil Vastardis Essex
519 Rebeca Perez Leon UNAM
518 Rachel Westerbeek University of Central Lancashire Specialist academic skills support is vital in ensuring *all* students are able to benefit fully from their investment in HE. Diluting this support undermines both the widening particiaption and student outcomes agendas, both of which carry a very real financial risk for institutions.
517 Cheryl Voake-Jones University of Bath
516 Ricky Jospeh University of Birmingham
515 Man Hei Chan University of Essex
514 Courtney Waugh University of Essex Protect academic support for students at essex
513 Ruth Windscheffel City, University of London Ever-diversifying, larger cohorts means universities should be investing more not less in specialist departments like TDC. Worrying premises: 'academic skills' are less important/less academic than 'factual' information imbibed and regurgitated; specialist staff can be replaced by casualised temps. Not what I expect to see from UoE. Student experience/outcomes will suffer.
512 Angela Dorado-Otero Queen Mary University of London
511 Dimitri Lera University of Essex The university has won the University also because student’ support yet ithe department that has delivered that is now being restructured; it doesn’t make sense
510 Lydia Karga PhD student, Department of Government, University of Essex
509 Megan Daigle University of Birmingham
508 Alexandra Popescu University of Essex
507 Sandra Sinfield London Metropolitan University Deleting LDUs undermines the goal of widening *successful* participation. Severing research and scholarship from the work of those providing academic support for students is a retrograde step that goes against the basic tenets of what it means to be a university. It is exploitative, mean and contributes to a cheapening of the meaning of a 'higher' education.
506 Savvas Voutyras Essex Colchester
505 Peter Squires University of South Wales
504 Anna Oxton Colchester
503 laura Redburne Southend
502 Steven Gormley University of Essex
501 Caitlyn Rogers Southend campus
500 Caitlan Burns Essex The TDC is beneficial to so many staff and students; to remove it would simply be putting finances before people and I thought Essex University was above that?!
499 Ellen Boyd University of essex
498 Deborah Stevenson SOAS
497 Elane Heffernan UCU NEC
496 Rachael Parsons University of Essex
495 Rosalind Scott Colchester Borough Council Lifetime teacher.
494 MIke Brennan Open university
493 Alicja Syska University of Plymouth
492 Matt Bennett University of Cambridge
491 Julie Oliver Department of Economics We and our students find the current TDC service invaluable and have concerns about the changes taking place.
490 Jimena Vazquez University of Essex
489 Ursula Canton Glasgow Caledonian good student support needs motivated experts
488 Catherine Oxton Colchester
487 Joan Busfield University of Essex The role the TDC plays given the diverse nature of the student body is absolutely vita. Reducing staff or giving them less favourable terms and conditions (eg not paying staff over parts of the summer) is not acceptable.
486 Claire Wotherspoon
485 Gosia Marska
484 Suzanne Waugh University of Salford
483 Alejandro Moreno University of Essex
482 Constantin Mehmel University of Essex
481 Dr Shelagh Mooney Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, new Zealand. I suport this petition. This is an important issue.
480 Kristen Treen University of St Andrews
479 Konstantinos Roussos University of Essex Colchester
478 Michel Mason TDC, University of Essex
477 Ryan Flitcroft University of Essex
476 Elaine Speight-Burton Deakin University Burwood Australia Students need to interact, meet, engage with and be inspired by, learn from , be accompanied on their learning journey by teachers who are valued for their expertise, skills, commitment to and passion for, learning. And thus, the proposed introduction of annualised teaching should therefore be also accompanied by annualised learning and annualised administration, support services, funding and re
475 Adam Devine University of Suffolk
474 Anika Easy University of Leeds
473 Michael Beaney London School of Economics
472 Johannes Maronda University of East London I think these changes are motivated to save money at the expense of the quality of teaching and welfare of staff. These changes should be reversed because they overlook the welfare of staff; the very critical resource that keeps the University moving and maintains its standards and name. Such insentive policies can only backfire.
471 Brian Dunsmore University of Salford
470 Jordan Welsh
469 Jan Plummer Ex Essex student
468 Rosie Worsdale University of Cambridge Essex alum and former GTA
467 Hannah Duncan University of Essex, School of Health and Human Sciences HSC students gain so much vital support from this service to support their learning and wellbeing. It is such an important service to which students would be greatly affected should this no longer be available to them.
466 Savanna Rayment University of Essex
465 Holly Pester University of Essex
464 Jess Meacham University of Sheffield, VP Sheffield UCU
463 Tracey Hill Bath Spa University Essex alumna
462 Sarah Lewthwaite University of Southampton
461 Jo Grady University of Sheffield
460 John Prudhoe York St John University This is a sad example of erosion of standards for the sake of cutting cost. At a time when two of the highest profile developments in HE are internationalisation and student mental health, the squeezing of academic support budgets can only be detrimental to the student experience. Please reconsider this action.
459 Jane Ismail University of Essex
458 Paloma Carretero García
457 Alexandra Beaumont University of Essex
456 Angela Gillet University of Nottingham
455 S White The institution is removing something valuable that it will need to subsequently re-introduce, probably at greater expense.
454 Jill Doubleday
453 James O'Geran University of Essex
452 Julio Gimenez University of Westminster
451 Cristiana Rodrigues
450 Timothy Chapman Goldsmiths, University of London
449 Rosie Bonny Essex University
448 Aeronwy Thomas-Osborne Oxford Brookes University
447 Nicholas Beuret Essex COLCHESTER
446 Ania Bailey
445 Tony Shannon-Little University of Wolverhampton Put students first
444 Lisa McDonagh Staffordshire University
443 Khrieu Healy University of Essex
442 Rob Marks University of Manchester
441 Audrey woraker University of Essex I am retiring just in time!!
440 Gill Green University of Essex
439 Caroline Burns Northumbria University This is disgraceful on the part of Essex University
438 Max Maher University of Essex
437 Sarah Smith University of Essex
436 Katya Kostadintcheva University of Essex
435 Tom Edge UWE Bristol
434 Milada Walkova University of Leeds
433 Anne Prince Oxford Brookes University, Oxford
432 Michael Bailey Essex University
431 Klaus Mundt University of Nottingham
430 Rachel Elmslie University of Glasgow
429 Susie Cowley-Haselden
428 Lisa Brennan University of Liverpool
427 Lisa McGrath Sheffield Hallam University
426 Mary Carr St Andrews University
425 Catherine Duxbury UCC
424 Vernon Strachan University of Essex
423 Sarah Taylor LSE
422 Jack Rutherford LiFTS
421 Amber Silk Essex Colchester
420 Milena Marinkova University of Leeds Leeds
419 Christopher Cunningham The University of Essex I have met so many students who have benefited from the work of the TDC and its dedicated staff. Increasing student numbers, which largely results from widening access policies, and a strong focus on international recruitment, depends on the work that TDC does, in order for this expansion to be beneficial to not only individual students, but the institution as a whole.
418 Vicky Blake University of Leeds
417 Elena Anna Maria Gandini University of Central Lancashire
416 Evangelia Koumentaki Phd student Essex University This is not the university I chose for structuring my academic future! And the one I promoted to others! Unacceptable!
415 Cecily Blyther Petroc
414 Aleks Palanac University of Leicester, ELTU
413 Kerryann Bradshaw University of Essex Student
412 Richard Davie Canterbury Christ Church University
411 Desmond Thomas University of Luxembourg and Ex-University of Essex A short-sighted cost-cutting measure conducted in a high-handed fashion has resulted in trust and goodwill being destroyed. I no longer recognize the excellent university that I once worked for. Treating TDC staff with such disdain reflects very badly on decision-making processes made by the very few on behalf of a voiceless majority.
410 Elizabeth Cassell University of Essex (retired) It is essential to support this vital service
409 Maite Rodríguez University of Essex
408 Carol McAleavy University of Essex Such cuts will have an adverse effect on staff and students and ramifications for the whole university.
407 Nicholas White University of Portsmouth I am astonished that Point 3 ("forcing full-time tutors to go part-time (shifting them from 1.0 FTE to 0.8 FTE) without reducing teaching loads") is even legal.
406 Hilary Nesi Coventry University I'm particularly concerned about international students who pay high fees to study in the UK, and under the proposed new system are not going to receive adequate professional help to adjust to UK university study requirements.
405 Steve Kirk Durham University In a time of increasing student diversity, pressure to succeed and the growing mental health crisis, these moves are the precise *opposite* of what should be happening. Removal of scholarship time is also a fundamental misunderstanding of what 'excellence in teaching' requires.
404 Zenna Marshall University of Nice Sophia Antipolis The casualisation of work spells the end of academic integrity
403 Alberta Righetti Coventry
402 Tom Muir OsloMet - Oslo Metropolitan University
401 Deborah Clarke University of Helsinki, Finland
400 Dilly Meyer Essex/TDC/Colchester I have devoted my life to this work, supporting our students and now it’s is being destroyed.
399 Timea Tallodi University of Essex
398 Norbert Schmitt University of Nottingham Nottingham
397 Diane Schmitt Nottingham Trent University Nottingham
396 Helen Sadig Leeds University
395 Fiona Wattam Colchester English Study Centre It's disappointing to hear that Essex is reducing the support for students who need it the most and who pay so much to study there.
394 James Norman
393 Julia Molinari University of Nottingham
392 Liam Rodger The Open University EDINBURGH
391 Penny Wrout Essex University, LiFTS dept.
390 Sheila Black University of Essex
389 Jan Peacock Wivenhoe I though you were UNIVERSITY OF THE YEAR, this will be an award that you will not see again and should possibly revoked. I suggest you think about your actions and the consequences before you ruin the university and other people’s good work. People do right to stand up for themselves and fight for the students. The people doing this should have their performance reviewed before it goes to far.
388 Brendon Nicholls University of Leeds As an alumnus of the University of Essex, I am ashamed. This is not the University I knew.
387 Karen Nicholls Sheffield Hallam University
386 Jacqueline Grossart RCS Glasgow
385 Penny Simpson University of Essex
384 Jennie Todd Essex Colchester
383 Jane Sjoberg University of Birmingham
382 Emma Frost University of Essex
381 Jimmy Page Former engineering student any withdrawal of support for students is not a good thing.
380 olivia arigho stiles Univ Essex - Dept of Sociology
379 Calum Delaney Cardiff
378 Shaul Bar-Haim University of Essex London
377 George Mann Independent HE Consultant These are developments that will negatively impact on the experience of students and staff and adversely affect the reputation of the University.
376 Maria Teasdale UWE, Bristol Appalling.
375 Mario Burghausen University of Essex, Essex Business School, Employability and Careers Officer M&M/OSHRM
374 Hannah Gurr Centre for English Language and Foundation Studies, University of Bristol in solidarity
373 Nigel Harwood
372 Joanne Webster Sheffield Hallam University
371 Liz Hamp-Lyons former Editor of the Journal of English for Academic Purposes Essex used to be well-regarded in ELT and many MA graduates went on into EAP. How sad to see it sink so low. How damaging to its student body as well as to its dedicated professional EAP staff.
370 Daisy Jordan University of Essex
369 Dr Jörg Schaub University of Essex
368 Mike Bowles Zayed University
367 Sue Whitehouse Halesowen Appalling!
366 Marian Mayer Bournemouth university I hope that Kent's management will rethink this short-sighted decision
365 Josipa Javora University of Essex
364 Daniel Watts University of Essex COLCHESTER
363 Sara Camacho Felix London School of Economics and Political science
362 Jonathan Cooke University of Suffolk
361 Teresa Eade UoE
360 Linda Belgrove Alumni - Uni of Essex As a former Mature Student - graduated 2017 - I can confirm that the Talent Development Centre does what it says on the tin. Intelligence and talent does not mean that academic 'mechanics' come easily. I am confident that this decision will be reversed because the Uni of Essex VALUES equality, education ensures access to your rights & equality.
359 Malgorzata Drewniok University of Lincoln
358 James Richards Heriot=Watt University
357 Yan Li U of Essex
356 Natasha Osben University of Essex
355 Michael Salmon University of Liverpool in London
354 Caroline Browne Password English Language Testing
353 Ceiren Bell Goldsmiths
352 Miriam Schwiening University of Warwick
351 Sharon Riddle Durham
350 John Wrigglesworth Sheffield Hallam
349 Alex Holloway University of Leeds
348 Rhea Mehmet London
347 Chen-Yu Lin Taiwan
346 Alistair McCulloch University of South Australia (formerly Edge Hill University) Severing research and scholarship from the work of those providing academic support for students is a retrograde step that goes against the basic tenets of what it means to be a university. It is exploitative, mean and contributes to a cheapening of the meaning of a 'higher' education.
345 Ya Han Chang KPMG
344 Caterina Fantacci
343 Ian Bruce The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand English for Academic Purposes courses require full-time, academic staff engaged in an active scholarship of teaching and learning. These proposed changes undermine the quality of courses that are able to be offered to international students.
342 Anna Murawska Into Newcastle university
341 Milly Williamson Goldsmiths
340 Jessica Garska Trinity college Dublin
339 Rob Playfair Liverpool
338 Annie Jones Sheffield Hallam University
337 Marilyn Sore Suffolk Sudbury
336 Katherine Grayson The University of Essex
335 Sarah Bones
334 Sally Zacharias University of Glasgow This is wrong
333 Silvia Ranawake Queen Mary University of London
332 Dolly Okeowo
331 michael bassett Clacton On Sea
330 Emily Wallace University of Bedfordshire
329 Jane Sabey
328 Sarah Wagner University of Essex
327 Maria-Irina Popescu University of Essex
326 Pasi Ahonen University of Essex I serve as an Associate Director of Education in Essex Business School, university’s largest and fastest growing department, I am deeply concerned about the announced plan to reduce learning skills support for our students.
325 Tom Vaughan University of Essex
324 Evangelia Tsimpoukli
323 Miharu Hori Student of University of Essex
322 Sasha Litvintseva Queen Mary University of London
321 Ewen Speed University of Essex
320 Patrick Chester QMUL
319 Henry Anim Del Rio Colchester I would like to see this department to carry on offering more support to students
318 James Bicknell University of Essex
317 Jo Kukuczka
316 Caitlin Adams Open University
315 Mary Davis Oxford Brookes University I hope signing this petition will help to protect both the hardworking and professional staff at Essex and protect the vital academic support for students.
314 Jade Archer University of Essex I believe that these changes will have a major down-slide effect on our students and staff here at the University of Essex.
313 Robert Smart University of Essex Part of a general trend of reducing support at the university.
312 Neil Robbie SOAS, University of London London
311 Elaine Smith University of Nottingham
310 Gary Riley-Jones Goldsmiths, University of London
309 Debra Jones Bristol University
308 paul dickinson university of liverpool in solidarity
307 Alexandra Kimbo University of Essex
306 Els Van Geyte University of Birmingham
305 Noah Johnston
304 Nikolas Chatzicostis
303 Louise Greener Durham University
302 Philip France Queen Mary University, London London
301 Beatriz de paiva
300 Gareth GEE CELE, University of Nottingham
299 Carlos Carrillo-Tudela University of Essex The TDC has been doing great work. A couple of years ago we teamed up to deliver support to entry PGT students in economics with wonderful results. They are a core part of our offer. If anything make them stronger!
298 Ai Gooch University of Essex
297 Astrid Kohler Queen Mary University of London
296 Trevor Herndon Arts University Bournemouth
295 Melody Mason The University of Warwick
294 Jola Tong University of Essex
293 Jody Bradford University of Leeds
292 Anna H University of Essex
291 Katie Shaw Royal Holloway, University of London
290 Emily Pfefer Queen Mary University of London
289 Justin Colson University of Essex
288 Helen Taylor CU Services To maintain a quality provision academic teaching staff undertake research and scholarship and this should be recognised, valued and paid. REF and TEF metrics are increasingly improtant and this research and scholarship has a direct and positive impact on the University and its ranking. Such a change to the TDC seems to be short-sighted and a retrograde step.
287 Jane Saville University of the West of England As an alumni of Essex University, I am shocked at the proposal to reduce the importance and scope of student support. This flies in the face of inclusivity, widening participation, internationalisation and student attainment.
286 Saskia Price University of Essex
285 James Bullock University of Portsmouth
284 Cheyne Truman University of Essex Our TDC is a vital resource, especially for mature and international students as well as those with additional learning needs.
283 Alice Ferro University of Essex
282 Rosa Fass University of Essex
281 Camille Walker University of Essex COLCHESTER
280 Jake Collinson
279 David Camorani
278 Matthew Spencer University of Liverpool
277 Mark Heffernan QMUL
276 Sam Sprules University of Essex
275 ATTASIT SITTIDUMRONG UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX
274 Owen Cullum University of East Anglia
273 Bee Bond University of Leeds This move goes against all my current research and practice that suggests the need for increased and integrated access to learning development, and for those who work in this area to have equal status in terms of contract and time for scholarship as their disciplinary peers. It is a very short-sighted decision.
272 Shirley Dow University of Essex, Colchester Campus

*Consultation documents suggest otherwise, but this is based on their tendency to calculate FTE numbers without taking into consideration number reductions based on previous redundancies and restructures. Hence a comparison of absolute numbers is best able to communicate what is at stake:
In October 2017 TDC staff comprised: 

  • G10 x 1
  • G 8  x 3
  • G 7 x 7.8
  • G4 x 1.7
  • Plus hourly paid tutors in the Autumn/Spring term.

Under the new structure proposal the team (now known as ‘Skills for Success’) would comprise:

  • G9 x 1
  • G 8 x 2
  • G 7 x 5.5
  • G 6 x 1 (fixed term, to review structure and procedures)
  • G4 x 1
  • Plus hourly paid tutors in the Autumn/Spring term.

When calculated solely in terms of ‘skills delivery staff’ (i.e. those who undertake teaching) the numbers provided in the briefing documents are misleading:

  • their calculation of 8.5 FTE in the new structure includes the new Grade 9 post (heading up Skills for Success); but
  • their calculation of 9 FTE previously excludes the current G10 post of TDC Head, and excludes a TDC post that was left vacant earlier this year (0.8 FTE) –  even though both posts contributed to  ‘service delivery’ (i.e. teaching).
  • In addition, the Southend G7 tutor has had her contribution factored in (for both new and old structures) as FTE 0.5 – while this is only true of the new structure. Previously, the post holder has had her contract extended each summer (using TDC budget). This made her FTE up to 0.8 FTE
  • Therefore a previous FTE comparison for ‘service delivery’ should more accurately be totalled as 11 FTE reduced to 8.5 FTE.