The struggle of postgraduates is taking place against the backdrop of far-reaching changes in higher education. One of these changes is the increasing tendency to push the burden of teaching onto postgraduates. This is the result of two factors. Firstly, and perhaps most obviously, postgraduate labour is much cheaper. Secondly, it forms a part of the neoliberal agenda to generally drive down wages and conditions of lecturers. This is part of a process of opening up universities to the market and making them more attractive for privatisation. The attacks on lecturers’ pensions are an important component of this. This highlights the potential risks of management playing postgraduate teachers off against lecturers, using them to undermine lecturers’ attempts to fight back. There is an important difference in that many postgraduates who teach hope to continue on to lecture and so standing with lecturers can be seen as safeguarding future conditions. However this is certainly not automatic: Read more here
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