Lecturers are fed up of being the big losers in the higher education market | Des Freedman

Universities are bankrolling new shiny buildings and high vice-chancellor pay while our jobs are cut. We’re ready to fight back

There are winners and losers in today’s higher education marketplace. Universities pocketed so much tuition fee income last year that they had a £2.2 billion surplus. Meanwhile, students may be impressed with the shiny new buildings,but they are graduating with increased levels of debt and stress. And staff have seen their wages decline by some 19% in real terms in the last 10 years, with many in the sector also facing attacks on their pensions.

Related: Students want universities to invest in teaching staff. Why won't they listen? | Sally Hunt

Related: I'm moving to a less prestigious university – and I'm thrilled | Anonymous academic

Des Freedman is a professor of media and communication studies at Goldsmiths University. This article was written in coordination with activists from affected branches. There will be a session on fighting redundancies at a UCU conference on Saturday 13 October

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