Spirited opposition

November 25, 2010

Your article "Bristol v-c faced no opposition in bid to become UUK president" (18 November) fails to paint the full picture. Universities UK's strategy regarding the government's cuts programme and the Browne Review was endorsed unanimously by its board, which includes members from every part of the sector (and each mission group head).

UUK has used every opportunity and every method available to oppose the cuts. Steve Smith, the incumbent president, and I have attended more than 100 meetings with politicians from David Cameron downwards to argue the case against. We have made about 50 television and radio appearances and backed them up with persuasive articles in the press - including Times Higher Education.

The appointment of UUK's president is an open and democratic process. All of its 133 members are free to stand. As Eric Thomas was unopposed, we accept that our members believe that he is the best candidate; we are sure he will do an excellent job.

Nicola Dandridge, Chief executive, Universities UK.

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