Important update on MeCCSA Annual Conference 2023

It is with deep regret the MeCCSA Executive Committee has taken the difficult decision that we cannot proceed with Falmouth University hosting our Annual Conference in September 2023 as previously planned. 

We are currently in advanced talks with another institution to host our 2023 conference. Full details explaining the context and rationale for this decision are provided below.


Senior management at Falmouth University has proposed to employ staff on inferior contracts using a subsidiary Falmouth Staffing Ltd. UCU have been in dispute for some time over what would mean the creation of a two-tier workforce, including a three-day local strike action that took place 17-19th October.

Details on the dispute are available on the UCU website.

I wrote to the Vice Chancellor of Falmouth University on 12th October to express the MeCCSA Executive Committee’s concerns and urge the institution to reverse this action. We consider the fragmentation of the workforce at Falmouth University and employing new staff on significantly inferior terms to be a direct threat to our field. It will create a two-tier workforce and undermine staff, which by extension will undermine the subject areas Falmouth University specialise in. It cuts across principles of collegiality, commensurability and fair governance that underpin collaboration in research and teaching across our sector. 

Since my letter we have not received any reassurance that Falmouth University intends to re-consider and reverse the action taken. 

Whilst we understand senior management is arranging talks with UCU in good faith to propose a schedule of negotiations, this does not amount to a commitment to stopping the policy. We could not take the risk that these negotiations did not result in reversing the current policy direction, thus giving an alternative host insufficient time to prepare for the conference. I have therefore written to the Vice Chancellor at Falmouth University last week to confirm MeCCSA withdraw from Falmouth hosting our Annual Conference.

We have not taken this decision lightly and I want to stress to all MeCCSA colleagues that it is no reflection on the local organising committee. They have done a tremendous job preparing for the conference and acted with great integrity and professionalism when we raised our original concerns about Falmouth Staffing Ltd. We know they have been planning this conference for several years, with the original proposal to host our 2022 conference submitted in 2019 (postponed due to pandemic), and this will therefore be particularly frustrating. 

Original letter to Falmouth VC on 12th October (PDF):

Subsequent letter to Falmouth VC on 11th November (PDF):


We ask that colleagues remain patient whilst we work on confirming revised details for the 2023 conference.

We are currently in positive conversations with Glasgow Caledonian University to step in on short notice and host the Annual Conference in September 2023. A separate announcement about this will be made shortly.

We have also started a dialogue with keynote speakers who were scheduled for the Falmouth conference about the change to our plans, and are working on a revised theme and call for papers that will be published soon. 

If you have any questions about the conference in the meantime, please contact Agnes Gulyas (, who is Chair of the MeCCSA Association Activities sub-committee.

Prof Einar Thorsen, Chair of MeCCSA
On behalf of the MeCCSA Executive Committee.

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