We need fees transparency

May 6, 2010

We the undersigned student leaders would like to publicly condemn the decision taken by the Russell Group to withhold its submission to Lord Browne of Madingley's independent review of tuition fees and student finance.

After a two-month Freedom of Information Act dispute, we now know that the Russell Group is happy to share its submission with the review, but not to come clean to us on how it thinks fees have worked since 2006.

As student representatives, we find it disingenuous and underhanded that the UK's elite universities do not feel that they have a duty to share their submission to the review with the general public, and indeed their current and prospective students.

Recently, the Russell Group has been quick to use the media to decry savage cuts to the university teaching budget. However, we find it unpalatable that while on the one hand these institutions are quick to criticise the cuts imposed on them, they are not prepared to share their evidence and recommendations about the future funding of the academy.

It is vital that Lord Browne's review is conducted in an open and transparent fashion, with all parties who wish to participate in shaping the future funding of our university sector prepared to engage in an open debate.

Stefan Baskerville, president, Oxford University Student Union; Ryan Wain, president, King's College London Students' Union; and 32 others.

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