End discrimination against Cuba in UK Higher Education (UK)

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2018 Higher Education Service Group Conference
21 September 2017

1)UNISON has a proud history of international solidarity and supporting our members in HE to create a welcoming atmosphere for international students from around the world.

2)UNISON is affiliated to the Cuba Solidarity Campaign (CSC) and has been since 2002.

3)CSC is campaigning against a recent decision by the Open University (OU) to allegedly bar the registration of a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) student, on the grounds of Cuban nationality.

4)The CSC campaign reports that this bar affects a number of countries and is rooted in United States blockade legislation.

5)UNISON in Higher Education should be concerned about discrimination based on nationality existing in our sector, recognising that this should be subject to the Equality Act 2010.

6)CSC is calling for the Open University (OU) to end this discriminatory policy immediately and is lobbying the UK government to intervene.

Conference believes:

a)That staff and students should be welcomed to the UK from around the world.

b)That the protection afforded by the Equality Act 2010 covers a range of protected characteristics which many of us rely on day to day.

c)That UNISON members in Higher Education should not be required to act against the Equality Act in the course of their work.

Conference calls upon the Higher Education Service Group (HE SGE):

i)to make representations to OU that UNISON members should not be required to act outside of the Equality Act 2010;

ii)to provide information and appropriate support to Unison members in OU should they be required by their employer to breach the Equality Act 2010;

iii)to raise awareness of this campaign, which is relevant to staff in the Higher Education sector, to ensure staff and students are treated fairly, regardless of their nationality.