Funding Our Future: Fairer Fees and Funding in Higher Education
I pledge to support LUSU's Fairer Fees & Funding Campaign by:
1. Informing my friends and colleagues of LUSU's campaign
2. Encouraging colleagues to pledge their support on this petition
3. Supporting LUSU’s Fairer Fees and Funding motion to Lancaster University Court (as below)
4. Joining the students in denouncing disproportionate cuts to Higher Education and seeking alternative policy direction
5. Supporting students in pressuring the government to seek a fairier alternative to the current tuition fee system
University Court Motion
This Court notes:
1. The cuts to the Higher Education budget by a total of c.£533m in the coming financial year (2010-2011) and further long-term cuts set out in the Chancellor’s Pre-Budget Report 2009
2. The launch of the Independent Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance on the 9th November 2009 (Browne Review)
3. The establishment of the Lancaster University Working Party on Tuition Fees by the University Council, as requested by the meeting of Court in January 2007.
4. The statement produced by University Council following its meeting on 20th November 2009 regarding the pending review of university funding and finance; as follows;
“On 20th November 2009, Council had an extensive discussion on the government’s paper relating to the shape of Higher Education in the next 10-15 years and the best way to fund it. We recognise and sympathise with the students’ concern over the future handling of HE funding and student finances. We welcome the national debate on funding for both full-time and part-time students and the close examination of the current student support mechanisms. University management and Council share that concern and believe that the sector should be adequately funded striking the right balance between the contribution of society, employers and individuals. There is a strong view that HE should be free for students at the point of delivery, and that Higher Education should be available to qualified students, irrespective of social background. Council will return to this issue in February as the details of Lord Browne’s review emerge.”
This Court believes:
1. That cuts to the Higher Education Budget as outlined by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills in his grant letter to HEFCE, along with long-term cuts outlined by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his Pre-Budget Report have the potential to threaten the student experience and vital staff jobs at our university.
2. That the disproportionate cuts in the Higher Education compared to other government departments are utterly unacceptable and should be denounced by universities, students’ unions and trade unions collectively and alternative approaches and policies sought.
3. That in a period of economic and political uncertainty, institutional clarity on such fundamental issues as university fees and funding are of paramount importance and that any view on fees should not be reached without full consultation and input from the students via their Students’ Union and from members of University staff.
This Court resolves:
1. To request the University Council to agree:
(i) Re-activate and review the Working Party on Tuition Fees and that its membership should be augmented equally with internal University officers (including academics), external Court members and Students’ Union nominees.
(ii) That such a group should be chaired by an independent representative mutually agreed by the University and Students’ Union.
(iii) That discussions by the Working Party should incorporate evidence from and consideration of all student categories.
(iv) That the Working Party should consult the University Senate as part of its process before reporting to Council and before its report may be submitted as evidence to the Browne Review.
2. To request that any report finally presented by the Working Party should also be made available to all members of Court.
Proposed: Michael Payne, LUSU President 2008-2010
Seconded: Danny Ovens, LUSU Vice-President Academic Affairs 2009-2010