Joint statement from Leeds University Union and the University of Leeds
The University of Leeds and Leeds University Union (LUU) have issued a joint statement in partnership conveying our shared views to Government over the ongoing instability surrounding Higher Education
The past two years have been a turbulent time with significant changes to the funding regime for higher education in England and the prospect of further legislation and ongoing change. With our future in mind, LUU and the UoL wish to reiterate their commitment to continue working in close partnership on key issues that affect our University and its students and staff.
Universities are critical for the future of our society. They exist for the public good, creating knowledge and disseminating it to individuals and to society more widely. We value knowledge and education for their own sake, but also acknowledge the need for our activities to have impact that is ultimately of value to society.
Against this background, we commend the following precepts to our government:
- Universities must remain accessible to everybody with the potential to benefit from higher education, irrespective of background or financial position.
- The further marketisation of higher education is not needed to drive up the quality of provision.
- The British university system must be funded at a level which allows it to deliver teaching and research of the highest international quality.
- The use of the 'core and margin' model to redistribute student numbers solely on the grounds of cost is unwelcome.
- Students must be assured that government loans they receive for fees will not be subject to future changes, for example in interest rates or repayment thresholds, which will cause them financial detriment.
- In the light of the increased undergraduate fees, more emphasis must be placed on supporting student progression to postgraduate level. Strengthening support at masters and doctoral level is crucial to securing social mobility as well as individual and societal enhancement.
- Any changes to undergraduate fees should be subject to full parliamentary scrutiny, with the balance between state contribution to the funding of higher education and student fees a prominent consideration.
- An increase in the number of private providers with degree awarding powers is neither necessary nor desirable.
- All private providers must be subject to the same framework of regulation and quality control as applies to publicly-funded institutions.
Leeds University Union
University of Leeds