Willetts hit by second university no-confidence vote

Academics at the University of Leeds have passed a motion of no confidence in David Willetts.

July 8, 2011

At a heated meeting of the University of Leeds senate on 6 July, academics backed a motion condemning the universities and science minister's handling of higher education reforms.

The vote of no confidence was won narrowly by Mr Willetts' critics, although many senate members abstained.

Leeds is the second university to publicly and officially condemn the government's higher education reforms, after Oxford dons delivered a crushing motion of no confidence at a congregation meeting on 2 June.

Mark Sewards, communications officer for Leeds University Union, who attended the meeting, said: "There was a lot of anger - it was clear that they were not happy with the measures announced in the White Paper.

"There were many abstentions and even those who voted against the motion said they were unhappy about what was happening. They were just concerned if it was the right time and place to pass a motion."

David Barclay, president of the Oxford University Student Union and founding member of the No Confidence Campaign, said the decision was "a huge step forward in the fight-back against the government's disastrous plans for universities".

He added: "This brave decision by Leeds is the first of what will be a long line of blows to the government's vapid and dangerous White Paper.

"Students do not want to be consumers, and academics do not want to see the universities they love condemned to underfunding and the whims of the market."

jack.grove@tsleducation.com

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns