UNISON represent professional and support staff in universities across Scotland and believes the move will improve participation in decision-making, and ultimately improve the lives of students.
The vote by MSPs (Yes 92, No 17) reforms the way universities are governed in Scotland ensuring that they will become more democratic by allowing all staff and students to vote for the chair of their governing body. In those universities where there is currently a rector then their role remains unchanged. The bill also ensures that Scottish institutions governing bodies include representatives from trade unions and student associations.
Emma Phillips, UNISON Scotland head of higher education said, The move will help make sure “that Scottish higher education institutions are more inclusive, and will enable our members voices to be heard on campus."
“UNISON members are key frontline staff and integral to providing the excellent student experience that Scottish institutions all aim to deliver.
“The fact that they will now play a part in running our universities will improve services for students.
“The reform means professional and support staff will be in a stronger position to improve student services.
“We believe that the Higher Education Governance Bill will empower staff and students and encouraging a partnership between staff, students and management of higher education institutions.”