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

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

Monster behind man at desk

Despite all that’s been done to improve doctoral study, horror stories keep coming. Here three students relate PhD nightmares while two academics advise on how to ensure a successful supervision

Sir Christopher Snowden, former Universities UK president, attacks ratings in wake of Southampton’s bronze award

celebrate, cheer, tef results

Emilie Murphy calls on those who challenged the teaching excellence framework methodology in the past to stop sharing their university ratings with pride

Reflection of man in cracked mirror

To defend the values of reason from political attack we need to be more discriminating about the claims made in its name, says John Hendry

But the highest value UK spin-off companies mainly come from research-intensive universities, latest figures show