We are sorry to learn of the loss of Colwyn, one of our founder members and our principle case officer. A tower of strength in the fight for academic freedom and equality with a formidable intellect, passion and integrity, he is a great loss but remains an inspiration to all who encountered him.

The next edition of UPDATE will be a tribute to Colwyn. Please forward any contributions to Geraldine.

CAFAS is a group dedicated to maintaining standards of integrity and practice in academia, to exposing breaches of those standards and to supporting the victims of those breaches.

CAFASĀ welcomes widened access to further and higher education. But expansion in the absence of a corresponding increase in funding and the attempt to run education on commercial principles have led to standards being undermined and to staff who protest being victimised. Many are too demoralised, or too pressured by the provision of inadequate resources to challenge the decline; others are fearful of redundancy or are intimidated by the threat of victimisation and some respond to job insecurity by themselves becoming victimisers of the vulnerable.

CAFASĀ faces the fact that the British educational system is decaying. The Council will not collaborate with the pretence that this is not happening nor will it compromise on the right to say so. The principle of academic freedom enshrined in the Education Reform Act (1988) – that “academic staff have freedom within the law to question and test received wisdom and put forward new ideas and controversial or unpopular opinions without placing themselves in jeopardy of losing their jobs” – is increasingly under attack, particularly when staff expose instances of corruption and shoddy standards.

CAFAS is committed to campaigning against the formal or informal abuse of power and influence by persons at all levels in universities and colleges of further education. As such CAFAS provides a means of challenging arbitrary, unjust, unreasonable or biased decisions in H.E. and F.E.


    • Campaigns against the decline in academic standards
    • Defends individuals against victimisation
    • Gives moral support and informal legal advice
    • Investigates malpractice and publishes findings
  • Seeks to develop a support network with unions and other organisations.

Professors Geoffrey Alderman (Middlesex), Michelle Barrett (City), David Beetham, Leeds, Jennifer Birkett (Birmingham), Noam Chomsky (MIT, USA), J B Deregowski (Aberdeen), Terry Eagleton (Lancaster), Reuben Hasson (York, Canada), David Howell (Manchester), Richard Hyman (LSE), J F Lamb (St Andrews), David McLellan (Kent), T J Reed (Oxford), Hilary Rose (Bradford), Steven Rose (Open), Phil Scraton (Queens, Belfast), Stan Smith (Nottingham Trent), John Westergaard (Sheffield)

The opinions expressed on this site are those of individual members.