Cambridge Dons Call for Vote of No-Confidence in Minister

Daily Post (Liverpool, England), June 2, 2011 | Go to article overview

Cambridge Dons Call for Vote of No-Confidence in Minister


Byline: AlisonKershaw

CAMBRIDGE academics are calling for a vote of no-confidence in Universities Minister David Willetts and the Government's higher education reforms.

Around 130 dons have backed a motion amid concerns about the impact of budget cuts and the tuition fee hike.

The motion, known as a "grace", has been submitted to the elite university's council, who will make a decision on whether to take it forward next month.

It comes as staff and students at Oxford University launched a campaign for a nationwide vote of no-confidence in Mr Willetts and his policies. Last month, Oxford academics tabled their own no-confidence motion, which will be debated at a meeting of the university's congregation next Tuesday.

Ben Etherington, an English research fellow at Churchill College, Cambridge, told the Telegraph: "I think there should be a consideration of David Willetts's suitability for this job."

A Cambridge spokesman said: "This is a matter for the council."

A statement on the nationwide campaign group's website says: "We are campaigning for a nationwide vote of no-confidence in the policies of the Minister for Universities and Science."

It warns that the Government's higher education policy is "financially chaotic and unsustainable" and claims the swingeing budget cuts to teaching grants will leave institutions "systematically under-funded even with higher fees".

READ Ben on education www.dailypost.schoolassembly "The higher education sector is too important to be thrown into chaos by half-baked ideas and rapid rethinks," it says, adding that "the licensing of for-profit institutions to award degrees and the advocacy of overseas franchising by existing universities are a threat to the reputation of the UK university system as a whole. …

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