Students scorn levy sidetrack

February 9, 1996

Student leaders have demanded that vice chancellors continue to pressure the Government over higher education funding instead of debating one-off undergraduate levies.

NUS president Jim Murphy, and officers, met with representatives of the Committee of Vice Chancellors and Principals on Monday to discuss the outcome of the CVCP's council meeting last Friday.

Mr Murphy told vice chancellors that pressure ought to be maintained on the Government over funding rather than switched on to students, in the form of demands for one-off Pounds 300 tuition fees.

The NUS also stressed that it wanted to continue to work with the CVCP in order to seek a solution to the current funding crisis.

Speaking afterwards a spokesman for the CVCP said: "It was a very constructive meeting. We are very anxious that we do not alienate students in the present campaign which has raised issues like the Pounds 300 one-off payment."

But such explanations have done little to appease angry students in university unions across the country.

Strathclyde University union described the idea of the levy as "a disgraceful abuse of institutional autonomy" which was a result of "half-baked crisis management" by the CVCP.

Coventry University students union said: "We encourage the vice chancellors to take drastic and high profile action to curtail this Government's destruction of higher education. Our students' union will vigorously oppose any attempt to charge students to come to Coventry University."

Meanwhile, Leeds University today held a day of action against the cuts in higher education at which Mr Murphy, Unison, AUT and Labour politicians spoke.

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