Category Archives: News

Cambrige Academics’ Silent Protest

Approximately two hundred and fifty Cambridge academics gathered outside Senate House yesterday to protest against the Government cuts in higher education spending, and the rise in tuition fees.
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Student protests: the real story

The London Review of Books has published several eye-witness accounts of police violence written by academics and students from Cambridge. The incidents recorded took place during the protests against tuition fee rises and cuts in the Higher Education budget.  Continue reading

Can universities exceed the £9000 fee cap?

Balliol College, Oxford, is planning to introduce a £500 a year levy  to all new students next academic year. Is this a loophole that will allow universities to exceed the new £9000 p.a. fee cap without opting out of the public system entirely? Continue reading

Willetts’ ‘farcical’ claims

Professor Nicola Miller, chair of the Humanities and Social Science Matter campaign, argues in a letter in the Guardian today that it is ‘farcical’ of David Willetts to claim that cutting all direct government support for the humanities and social science will improve the student experience. The full text of the letter is below the fold: Continue reading

Lords reject appeal to discuss ‘game changing’ privitisation of universities

The House of Lords this evening rejected an amendment that called for more time to discuss the implications of the removal of the teaching grant and supported the government’s resolution to raise the fee cap to £9000. The main points made by the opponents of the government’s plans were (1) that they amounted to the abdication of the principle that universities are a public good as well as a private benefit; (2) that they were socially divisive; and (3) that the scheme will reduce the debt only in accounting terms and that the real debt will simply be passed onto the younger generation.

Here are some extracts from the debate: Continue reading

University funding reforms “may not save public money”

The Liberal Democrat Higher Education spokesperson in the Lords, Lady Sharp, has told the Guardian she is not certain to vote for the government in the vote in the Lords today. She is quoted as saying that the government’s proposals may not save any public money, which “makes me question whether the whole exercise is worthwhile”.

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LSE warns Vince Cable of damage from axing teaching grant

Howard Davies, Director of the London School of Economics (LSE) and one of the UK’s best known financial service experts has released correspondence from the LSE to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) rejecting the Browne Review’s policy conclusions which the coalition government has adopted.

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Students will pay ‘more for a worse product’

While the government urges the public sector to ‘do more for less’, more public voices have been pointing out that the slashing of the teaching grant means that students will be paying more for less.

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“This new policy is an utter failure” — New York Times

The New York Times points out, in an editorial entitled “Wrong Fix for British Universities” that attending a UK university will now cost twice as much, on average, as going to a public university in the United States. Budget cuts are necessary, it concludes, but “cutting must be done wisely, protecting investments in the economic future, like education. The sacrifices must be equitably shared. By any of those terms, this new policy is an utter failure.”

Prof. Nicola Miller, ‘Humanities & Social Sciences Matter’ Convenor, interviewed on Channel 4 News

Channel 4 News last night interviewed Professor Nicola Miller at length on the implications of the Government’s Higher Education funding proposals. Professor Miller argued that the Coalition Government’s plans to twin tuition fee changes with the cut to the humanities and social science Block Teaching Grant would profoundly destabilise the UK’s Higher Education system; reduce university departments’ ability to plan for the long-term; and undermine the world-class basis of British university teaching, student experience and research.

Debating with Conservative MP Damian Hinds, (and on the Education Select Committee), the MP said he “didn’t really understand” the points Professor Miller was making.

You can watch the interview for the next seven days here.