Letter: a lukewarm lobby (1)

December 8, 2000

I welcome Peter Knight's article (Soapbox, THES , December 1) and his criticisms of the former Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals. Its record in lobbying government is not a good one.

Where is its passion about our mission as educators? Where is the conviction that higher education is good for the economic and social fabric of our country? When is someone from the CVCP or its successor going to carefully, but angrily and effectively, tell the government and the public that our universities are being bled dry by a combination of central control, lack of money and legislation that stops us raising income by charging for what we do? Sadly, I did not see these qualities in the leadership of the CVCP - is it a vain hope that Universities UK will do better?

Other groups in the United Kingdom lobby government with single-minded intent, often very successfully. The voice of higher education, on the other hand, has been a meek, quiet one. We owe it to our children and to our nation to do better.

A staff member involved in fundraising at an English university

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