Passed at a meeting on 8 December, the motion also called on the government to pause the implementation of reforms detailed in this summer’s White Paper, which it described as having the potential to “inflict great and irreversible damage” on the sector.
The vote was proposed by Richard Saull, lecturer in politics and secretary of Queen Mary’s University and College Union branch, who told the student newspaper, QMessenger, that he wanted to congratulate his colleagues for passing the motion. “What’s important is that the academics at Queen Mary have made known their discontent with current government policy,” he said.
Queen Mary’s senate joins the academic bodies of the universities of Oxford, Leeds and Bath as well as Birkbeck, University of London, which have all passed votes condemning the government’s reforms. A similar vote at the University of Cambridge resulted in a dead-heat.
The votes have been welcomed by Sally Hunt, general secretary of UCU: “The government’s plans for higher education have been a complete mess from day one”, she said.
The Queen Mary vote passed unopposed, with voting for the motion and five abstentions.