ACADEMIC STAFF IN SUPPORT OF STUDENT OCCUPATION AT THE UNIVERSITY OF KENT
LETTER FROM ACADEMIC STAFF IN SUPPORT OF STUDENT OCCUPATION AT THE UNIVERSITY OF KENT We, the undersigned, write in full support of the student occupation at the University of Kent. We applaud the direct action taken by the students and support their general demands. In addition, we voice our support for the specific demand that the Vice Chancellor Dame Julia Goodfellow retract her support for the government’s proposed cuts to higher education and proposed increase in tuition fees, as expressly stated in a letter from the Board of UUK, published in The Telegraph on December 8th, 2010. The radical privatisation of higher education that these proposals represent will undoubtedly have a deleterious effect on accessibility to higher education. The market-oriented reforms on the horizon assume that university education is a mere commodity to be consumed, rather than a social good that should be available to all, and will do tremendous harm to the pursuit of knowledge. The VC’s position is that while she “deplores” the proposed cuts, there are no other viable alternatives. However, the financial rationales for the proposed cuts have been shown to be weak at best. We, the undersigned, believe that there are alternatives, and the depths of the cuts and the privatisation of higher education are unnecessary. We urge the VC to resist the proposed cuts and to engage in the struggle to find alternative means of funding higher education.