Take Back Queen’s

23 March 2017

Take Back Queens is joint platform between UCU and the Students’ Union aimed at promoting real, constructive and progressive change at Queen’s.

Take Back Queens calls for a fundamental reform of the principles, ethos and organisational practices that have been imported from the corporate world and foisted upon QUB at the expense of the university’s historic mission to prepare citizens to engage with and transform the world.

Instead, Take Back Queens envisions a university which truly serves the community to which it belongs, and to which it is inextricably bound. We call on Senior Management to salvage the civic purpose of our great institution: to infuse students, staff and our wider community with critical minds and the values, skills and capabilities necessary to address complex social, ecological and economic challenges – both locally and globally.

Accordingly, Take Back Queens promotes a program of reform of the university around these key issues:

  • Marketization
  • Democratization
  • Equality
  • Working Conditions

In February 2017, the SU organized a referendum in order to formalise this collaboration: students voted in historic numbers to build an alliance with the UCU to stand up for our rights in the university workplace. More than 3000 students took part in the referendum, with 94.12% voting to support of this alliance between students and the UCU at Queen’s—the lecturers’ union that represents academic and academic-related staff and teaching PhD students.

Already, Take Back Queens has made it possible for the SU and the UCU to mount effective campaigns around the closure of sociology and anthropology, the casualisation of teaching assistants, and gender equality. Together we will continue to fight against marketization and fees, for academic freedom and fair pay and against discrimination, all in pursuit of a more democratic university for those who work and study here.