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Lecturers call for Vice-Chancellor Weinberg’s stance on student fees

By River Reporter Oct 11, 2012

University lecturers want the Vice-Chancellor to publicly state where he stands on higher tuition fees. 

Felix Spowage

 KU staff have called on Vice-Chancellor Julius Weinberg to publicly declare whether he supports the rise in student fees.

Two modern European philosophy lecturers, Professor Hallward and Professor Alliez, signed an open letter published on The Guardian’s website, which urged vice-chancellors to state their position on the increase of student debt.

The letter, signed by over 60 university lecturers, stated: “The privatization of university funding risks transforming the vital relationship between students and educators into a cold commercial transaction between consumers and service providers.”

Subsequently, lecturers hope “university administrators, staff and students can engage in more productive discussions regarding the future of higher education”.

The lecturers involved claimed that since the increase of student debt, communication between vice-chancellors of universities and staff and students lacked purpose.

Without clearer direction for the future of higher education, the lecturers feel it is “inconceivable that academic principles of collaboration, critical thinking and pastoral care could survive this process intact”.

The letter was published on The Guardian’s website after Nick Clegg’s public apology for the colossal rise in student fees.

Professor Hallward said: “Tuition fees should be abolished. Education is a public good and a collective right and every member of society should be equally entitled to a few years to pursue their own interests, free from the constraints of the labour market.”

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