It is difficult to reconcile your coverage of Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals's activities (THES, May 15) with reality. Despite suggestions to the contrary from your anonymous sources, the CVCP will continue in its role as the voice of United Kingdom universities.
Your article was published only days after a council meeting where members, representing all shades of the sector, had reached a consensus on several issues. This included a statement on the principles for a new system for standards and quality assurance. It also followed highly constructive discussions on a number of important areas between the CVCP and senior government figures, which have continued this week.
It has been a challenge to negotiate a robust quality assurance system that ensures continued high standards, and meets the needs of all stakeholders, without consuming precious resources. But it is a challenge that the CVCP has met and is on the verge of resolving. With CVCP's leadership, the sector has gone a long way to putting in place its side of the compact proposed by the Dearing report. There is, of course, understandable frustration that we will not see the government's side of the compact until the outcome of the comprehensive spending review. It is unfortunate that The THES confuses this with the CVCP's own steps to ensure that higher education receives an adequate funding settlement. Our influence derives from the fact that we speak on behalf of the whole sector and continue to do so. While the diversity of the sector is a cause for celebration, it will always be the case that an effective voice is a united voice.
Together with our members, we will continue to promote a focused message during the remaining period of the comprehensive spending review. That message is that government must address the higher education sector's immediate funding needs if the UK's continuing competitiveness is to be assured.
Diana Warwick Chief executive, CVCP