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University campaigners slam 'derisory' offer

The picket outside the University of Cumbria. Credit: ITV Border

University staff in Cumbria and the South of Scotland have begun a two-day strike, in a dispute over pay and conditions.

Members of the University and College Union are walking out across the UK today and tomorrow.

Universities say they're making every effort to minimise the impact on students.

The union has dismissed a pay offer of just over one percent, branding it "insulting".

We've been offered a derisory 1.1 percent pay rise, whereas nationally, university vice-chancellors have got 6.1 percent in the last year.

Over the last six years, we are now 14.5 percent worse off in real terms than we were, and it's time to address the balance.

We want the university managers to insist that the national negotiators go back to the table and make a realistic offer.

– Ashley Tiffen, Branch Chair UCU University of Cumbria

Galashiels campus is part of best in Scotland

The Galashiels campus Credit: ITV Border

Heriot - Watt has been voted the best university in Scotland for the second year in a row.

The institution, which includes the School of Textiles and Design in Galashiels, was given the honour in the Sunday Times University Guide.

Principal Steve Chapman said:

"At Heriot-Watt, we put great effort into exceptional student experience by striving to consistently deliver excellent facilities, teaching, and support services.

"These positive results represent a real strength of feeling among our students and real professionalism on the part of the staff."

It was also named as being the best for student experience in the UK and ranked fourth best in the UK.

Students have also awarded the university the title of Scotland's best in the National Student Survey.

The Heriot-Watt sign at the Galashiels campus Credit: ITV Border


Potential job cuts at Borders University

University and College Union bosses are meeting with textile department staff in Galashiels today to discuss potential job cuts.

Heriot-Watt University revealed proposals for a shake up of staff and jobs earlier this week.

The cost cutting proposals include getting rid of a quarter of staff members from the Textile department at Heriot-Watt University's Galashiels based campus.