Vice Chancellor Professor Julian Crampton invited to 9th December tuition fees protest

Press Release
Wednesday 8th December 2010

Vice Chancellor Professor Julian Crampton invited to 9th December tuition fees protest

The Vice Chancellor of University of Brighton, Professor Julian Crampton, has been invited to join students and staff demonstrating in London on Thursday 9th December, the day the rise in tuition fees is being debated in Parliament.

In a public response to the occupiers of the Pavilion Parade university building, Professor Crampton made clear his opposition to any policy that would “significantly increase individual contributions”, claiming that it would be “damaging to the country’s economic and social development and to the success of the English university system which underpins it.”

To ensure that the Vice Chancellor has the opportunity to demonstrate his opposition to the rise in tuition fees a complimentary seat has been reserved for him (all expenses paid) on one of the coaches taking students and staff to the demonstrations.

Professor Crampton’s support of the occupiers of Pavilion Parade, by ensuring the continual presence of heating, water, electricity and security, is a mark of his commitment to the fight against the privatisation of higher education.  We look forward to his presence at the demonstration on December 9th.


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One response to “Vice Chancellor Professor Julian Crampton invited to 9th December tuition fees protest

  1. Obviously University of Brighton academics and staff support the students’ protests and are also “against the cuts”. At least prospective students have other lifestyle options to think about; but for the academics the status quo provides their families’ livelihoods. For the VC this amounts to £200,000 per annum. And they are all very worried about keeping their jobs because alternatives would be hard to find.

    A student at Chester Uni on TV this morning said that she’d worked out that, for her, the average cost of attending lectures would become £35 per hour (i.e. at £9,000 p.a.) – and that they were not worth it. That value-for-money issue is the big problem that has been flushed out in the debate about cuts. Even if the big rise in fees is averted by direct actions, such as those of tomorrow in London, the cost of tuition will be have to paid in other ways – either by a universal rise in taxes or by a Graduate Tax.

    I believe that the University is hoping that it can address the value-for-money question by delivering more education to more students at less cost by using on-line and distance learning technologies. I presume that that is the reason for negotiations with Kaplan International; i.e. to deliver vastly more Overseas students at perhaps near current fee levels but with much less physical contact time. I’ve no idea if this would actually work for the University of Brighton in a very competitive global market for such education services. Are all of “our” academics good enough to compete in such a competitive online World where perhaps one might be comparing with an online qualification from MIT or Harvard?

    In any event, “online” techniques don’t really take you very far with some subjects – such as Design, Fashion & Textiles. For these you need a lot of built space, the most up-to-date equipment and technically competent people to show you how to use it. Cramming more students in does not work in these areas and cost of keeping equipment up to really commercial standards is astronomical.

    Just to be clear, I do think that a sudden tripling of the student fee level is very unfair on the next cohort. It is even more bizarre that it won’t apply to students living in Scotland or Wales. For a Welsh/English border town like Chester, the consequences will be really odd.

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