Vive la devolution

June 4, 1999

I would not like your readers to be misled by the headline introducing the piece by Olga Wojtas and Alan Thomson - "Scottish colleagues oppose CVCP restructuring plans" (THES, May 28).

In reality, Scottish vice-chancellors, together with their English, Welsh and Northern Irish colleagues, voted without dissent for the new arrangements for the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals that were put to them on May 28.

These acknowledge the high degree of autonomy appropriate in the constituent countries of the UK while recognising, as most universities wished, that many key issues could, and should, continue to have a strong UK-wide dimension.

At the same time, appropriate structures to deal with specifically English matters were agreed and ratified by the UK-wide membership.

I have been much heartened by the constructive and statesmanlike approach adopted by colleagues around the UK as we have tackled these difficult constitutional matters over the past six months.

It is to be hoped that every UK-wide body facing the challenges of devolution can resolve them as positively and as quickly as the CVCP has done.

Martin Harris

Chair, CVCP

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