Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/983/26923
The Socialist 21 February 2018 |
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Leicester Uni makes Tory fee tripler David Willetts chancellor - sack Willetts!
Students demonstrating in London, photo Isai Priya (Click to enlarge)
Luke O'Brien, Leicester Socialist Students
The University of Leicester has appointed former Tory universities minister David Willetts its new chancellor.
During his time in government, Willetts was a key orchestrator in raising tuition fees from £3,000 to £9,000, which at the time he called "fair and affordable."
Last year he published a book titled 'A University Education' where he celebrates the increase, saying "we were able to deliver one of the biggest single cuts in public spending of the coalition."
Willetts has defended the hyper-inflated pay of university vice-chancellors, saying "let's keep this in proportion."
Worse still, in an interview in 2011, he said "the key factor" hindering men's social mobility is... the growth in the number of women who have careers!
On 15 February around 100 angry students and staff gathered outside Leicester's Fielding Johnson Building - where Willetts was busy promoting his new book - to demonstrate against this appointment.
Students expressed their disgust at the prospect of being awarded a degree by one of the men responsible for our crippling debt.
Leicester Socialist Students is strongly opposed to this appointment. We believe Willetts is not representative of the values of students or staff.
We are not alone, with both the Leicester UCU branch and students' union releasing statements expressing their opposition. The students' union has launched an online petition, and at the time of writing had received almost 3,000 signatures.