CDBU on the NUS student demonstrations: careless and radical policies are damaging universities and students

On Wednesday, 21 November, university students will assemble in London to protest against the current state of UK university policy. The primary concern expressed in this demonstration is outlined by the National Union of Students as follows:

Education is a good thing in and of itself – it enriches the lives of individuals and communities.

But for most, education serves a simple purpose: to create opportunity. The government has placed this under attack from all fronts – by scrapping the EMA, slashing undergraduate teaching funding, increasing tuition fees, introducing draconian restrictions on international students, cutting funding for post-graduate students, hiking fees for adult learners looking to gain basic skills, causing funding chaos in the nations…

It is clear that we can wait no longer. We demand a properly funded tertiary education system, accessible to all, in which all students are properly supported and encouraged – so that anyone with the ability and aspiration to study has the opportunity to do so.

The CDBU shares the concerns expressed by NUS with the careless formulation and hasty implementation of radical changes to UK university policy, and with the dangers they pose to universities and students.

The CDBU looks forward to working with students to promote a thorough reconsideration of these policies, including the ways in which universities are funded and governed.

Writing in a personal capacity, the chair of the CDBU’s Steering Committee, Professor Howard Hotson, outlined part of the basis of these concerns in an article which appeared in the Guardian yesterday.