Past must not derail future

London Metropolitan University makes great things happen for students who don't get a chance elsewhere. There is some prospect of a fresh start now that the present board of governors has agreed to go ("Staff promised bright new year as London Met aims to move on quickly", 31 December). However, its replacement should be established with some urgency.

Some questions remain. Why is Peter Anwyl, the chair of London Met, not leaving immediately, rather than by 31 March? Why is Abdul Rahim, the institution's chair of audit and vice-chair, not going with him? Why is the rest of the board not leaving until 31 August?

Are some members of senior management also culpable? Why did it take so long to intervene when to many the marks of a failing institution were so evident? Would closer scrutiny have brought the discrepancies to light earlier? Above all, what decisions will the Higher Education Funding Council for England take in terms of London Met's finances?

It is understandable that Hefce will wish to strip any ongoing financial advantage that London Met may have gained from its creative returns. However, neither present staff nor students should pay for the past misdeeds of an arrogant management and a governing body that failed to oversee its activities.

Let's have no more prevarication or procrastination. It's time to reinvigorate London Met with a new leadership and financial assurances. The current impasse is demotivating for the students who, last term, were asking whether they should bother to complete their autumn semester assignments when the press suggested that the institution would close.

Paul Mackney, Former general secretary, Natfhe (now part of the University and College Union), 1997-2007, and a parent of a London Met undergraduate.

Already registered?

Sign in now if you are already registered or a current subscriber. Or subscribe for unrestricted access to our digital editions and iPad and iPhone app.

Featured Jobs

Associate Dean (Education), Quality and Innovation AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY (ANU)

Register to continue  

You've enjoyed reading five THE articles this month. Register now to get five more, or subscribe for unrestricted access.

Most Commented

Universities to scale back liberal arts and social science courses

  • David Humphries illustration (24 September 2015)

A Russell Group tagline rap is further proof that we need to reform the academy’s approach, argues Philip Moriarty

  • World University Rankings 2015-2016 methodology

Change for the better: fuelled by more comprehensive data, the 2015-2016 rankings probe deeper than ever

  • World University Rankings

US continues to lose its grip as institutions in Europe up their game

Inspired by previous movement in 1960s, PhD students say that ‘science is not neutral’ and urge scientists to confront their assumptions