Letter: V-cs' unity on fees cast in doubt 2

March 8, 2002

After reading the latest whinnying from Universities UK, I imagine that Treasury officials, other civil servants and politicians must find it hard not to laugh in negotiations with that august body. Not only is UUK incapable, through years of subservience to successive governments, of doing its own job - it is now over-eager to try out Treasury responsibilities (that is taxing the rich).

Expansion of higher education has been largely achieved by holding down salaries (excepting the fellowship of UUK), "retiring" those who have peaked at 50 and overloading the remainder.

Further expansion will require admission of those who start university from a lower point in the grading system than hitherto permitted. To lift those candidates to the level at which they can genuinely benefit, additional teaching and learning resources are needed and possibly more study time.

Over-charging the parents of a few hundred rich students will not, and cannot, deliver the funding for that. UUK's only message to the government should be: "Pay up or forget it."

Andrew Morgan

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