Letter: a lukewarm lobby (2)

December 8, 2000

Universities UK is a misnomer (Leader, THES , December 1). Like its predecessor, the vice-chancellors committee remains, as John Griffith observed in 1989, no more than a collection of individuals having common interests, with no more authority to represent university opinion or policy than has any individual vice-chancellor.

Griffith emphasised that any important views to the outside world would need the approval of the university community. The vice-chancellors were, in 1930, authorised by their universities to constitute a committee for purposes of mutual consideration. Their committee has no power to subordinate the universities to itself as the new title implies.

Vice-chancellors are answerable to their governing bodies. They are regularly in conflict with staff. If they adhere to London Economics proposals, they will be more at odds with students and staff over top-up fees. As Peter Knight and others before him pointed out, rather than influencing government policy, the vice-chancellors consistently bow to it.

The LE report smacks of ideological collusion between business consultants and a government reluctant to tax at source, leaving the vice-chancellors pawns in the game.

Patrick Brady and Geraldine Thorpe
Senior lecturers
London Guildhall University

Please login or register to read this article.

Register to continue

Get a month's unlimited access to THE content online. Just register and complete your career summary.

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments


Featured jobs

Payroll Administrator

Bpp University

Teaching Fellow in Architectural Design

University Of Nottingham Ningbo China

Innovation and Commercialization Manager

Hamad Bin Khalifa University

Deputy Accountant

University Of Pretoria