Posters encouraging student solidarity with the strikes were scattered around Cambridge todaySiyang Wei

Cambridge academics and staff have launched a series of public teach-outs scheduled to take place throughout the industrial strikes starting tomorrow, 22nd February, as part of its latest action in protest of pension reform.

The teach-outs are intended to provide an informal atmosphere for staff and students to gather and discuss what they describe as, “important and challenging themes that re-imagine the university in ways that challenge oppression and injustice.”

The series of teach-outs, organised by Cambridge’s branch of the University and College Union (UCU), will begin tomorrow with an open assembly set to be held at Great St. Mary’s Church at 2pm for staff and students to propose and discuss ideas about the teach-out programme. Participants have been encouraged to put forth ideas for teach-out events which are “social, educational [and] political”.

Three more events have been planned for later this week, with one on ‘Brexit and its effects on Higher Education’, and another on the Decolonise the Curriculum campaigns. The latter will see decolonisation activists Gurminder Bhambra and Kerem Nisancioglu from the University of Sussex and London’s School of Oriental and African Studies respectively discuss current action and strategies.


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The third event scheduled for this week is a ‘Disassembling the University’ forum, which will cover recent reforms to higher education. The forum will centre on the “political and economic background to neoliberal reforms in higher education”, including the effects of the introduction of tuition fees.

The teach-outs have been scheduled alongside a four-week-long staff walkout organised by Cambridge UCU in protest of proposed pension reform. The strikes are intended to put pressure on the ongoing dispute between the UCU and Universities UK.

At CUSU Council on Monday night, CUSU Women’s Officer Lola Olufemi called on students to attend the alternative teach-outs. She described them as especially important, given that changes to higher education may discourage working-class women and women of colour from entering academia and carrying out research.