University of Bristol Vote of No Confidence in David Willetts sign now

Staff and students at the University of Bristol, along with the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, are campaigning for a nationwide vote of no confidence in the policies of the Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts.

Here is why:

- The Government’s policy is financially chaotic and unsustainable. The Treasury budgeted for an average fee of £7500, but now more than two-thirds of Universities want to charge £9000 for some or all courses.

- The 80% cut to the HEFCE Teaching grant will leave Universities systematically underfunded even with higher fees.

- The academic profession in the UK has never been less attractive. The debts incurred to go through both undergraduate and postgraduate study could be as high as £87,000. Money for research is also being cut in real terms and what remains is being focused on the Government’s short-term agenda.

- The consumer-producer relationship which the Government policies are designed to set up will undermine the spirit of academic community which is at the heart of the ethos of Higher Education.

- The embarrassing U-turns of recent weeks are signs of a policy in total disarray. The HE sector is too important to be thrown into chaos by half-baked ideas and rapid rethinks.

- The licensing of for-profit institutions to award degrees and the advocacy of overseas franchising by existing Universities are a threat to the reputation of the UK University system as a whole.

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