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Wishing you a peaceful New Year. A free monthly TEFS 2020 calendar with pictures from TEFS 2019 posts can be downloaded and printed from this LINK: TEFS Calendar 2020 The end of a momentous year in 2019, and the end of a decade, is almost upon us. The year 2019 will stand out in the history of the UK as a pivotal one that defined the fate of a generation. There is no doubt that the decade has seen recession and austerity that stretched the resources and patience of many families. Most young people have felt the brunt of government cuts and are facing debt on the back of their expensive education. The future is uncertain for them. How the past year unfolded. January started the year with doom, gloom and speculation by universities about the recommendations that might be revealed in the Augar report. TEFS suggested that teaching intensity might become the Achille’s heel of the system if addressed ( TEFS Is teaching intensity the Achilles heel of our universities? 4th
The Government started quickly on its Brexit journey this week with a Queen’s speech and a modified Brexit Bill today that will guarantee a complete break from the EU at the end of 2020. We should be very concerned that the removal of the protection of workers rights from the modified bill is setting the tone for what is to come. Many young people will be very worried about building a career in a USA style ‘hire and fire’ economy. Meanwhile, the Government seems complacent about the inequalities inherent in our university education whilst worrying more about its ‘sustainability’. The promise of “better value for students” and a “sustainable model” implies that neither is in place from the previous Government. The ghost of Christmas future looks very much like Augar. Best and fairest HE system in the world? Meet the new boss. Little change to the Government’s approach to Universities is expected for some time. The reappointment of Chris Skidmore to the position as Minister of
Even if aliens landed in England overnight, the first encounter might have gone unnoticed as the results of the election came in. What do we say to the advanced guard of a more advanced civilisation when they ask “take me to your leader” ? Many of us might decide that it is not a good idea to seek out our leaders. Instead, we should carefully reflect upon what the alien visitors might make of us. Then extend this thinking to the attitude of the rest of our planet toward our position. If aliens had landed, they would probably be detained in one of our immigration processing centres by now while someone decided what to do with them. Meanwhile the alien visitors would reflect upon what they had researched and the wisdom of travelling here at all. They would reach the conclusion that the UK was incapable of achieving a trade deal with their neighbours, never mind the intergalactic deal they were proposing. They would see that our leaders seem to be chosen on the basis of popularity
With the most important UK election since 1945 only days away, it is still looking likely that the Conservative Party under Boris Johnson will form the next government. In doing so, the result of the EU referendum will follow through to Brexit. It is also highly likely that the end of 2020 will see the UK exit the EU with no deal. This pivotal issue is marked by a worrying generational divide. But all are agreed that there are problems with trusting our political leaders. Lurking in the darkness are sinister attitudes towards fairness, equality and the abject greed of the advantaged few. Young people will look closely at this and may vote to tip the balance towards cooperation and a shared future. Brexit dominates the economy. Brexit is the overarching issue for most voters. But trust in political leaders is at an all-time low. The polls currently show that the Conservatives hold 43% of the vote ( BBC poll of polls 12th December ) and, when combined with the rump of the declining Br