Date: 3 April, 2017
Dear Members of the NEC,
we are shocked and angered by the decision taken by Ruskin College, Oxford to effectively close the International Labour and Trade Union Studies BA and MA courses by making all academic staff in this department redundant. The decision removes from the UK the only remaining institution providing labour and trade union studies.
Ruskin College was established in 1899 to provide education to working class people who couldn’t have otherwise gone to university, and since then the institution has contributed enormously to both the advancement of working-class lives, and the understanding and development of the labour movement.
In the context of the rise in precarious forms of work, further legislative attacks on trade unions, and attacks on higher education more broadly, it is imperative that we have a labour movement that can preserve and learn from our history and develop informed strategy on how to counter this onslaught. Ruskin College has a unique and integral role in doing this.
We therefore ask the Labour Party to call on Ruskin College’s management to reverse this decision and ensure that an independent, radical, critical labour movement education is available for future generations, and to give maximum publicity to opposing the closure of these courses and the associated staff redundancies.
Labour International CLP Coordinating Committee