Divided we fall

June 16, 2000

Natfhe is not being sectarian in the debate over the funding of higher education, as Alan Carr surprisingly suggests (Letters, THES, June 9).

We have consistently argued that the whole sector requires substantial additional resources, and have worked well with all the other HE unions in campaigning on this front, not least in a recent joint meeting, involving Carr, with David Blunkett.

There seems to be some confusion over the difference between the duty we have as a union to highlight specific problems in new universities and colleges that we represent (such as the 49 per cent less funding for teaching that we receive compared with old universities) and a desire to encourage "robbing Peter to pay Paul", which we would deplore. If we are being more successful in arguing our case, that does not mean that we think old universities should get less - all need more.

We are sure that the Association of University Teachers and Natfhe are united in horror at the rumour of forthcoming HE spending cuts, which would scupper the Bett process. Let us continue to work together - division helps nobody.

Jill Jones. Chair, Higher Education Committee. Natfhe.

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