Published by the USSU
issue number 1076
Week 7 is International
Week at the University of
Surrey - nd out what’s on
offer for one of the most
The Chinese AsianSociety
of the V Show, heldon29th
professor whohascontributedtoanaw e- inspiringresearcharea?Doyouhavethe academic prowess tolead a topU niversity intoaprosperous nancial andacadem ic future?If the answer is yes, perhaps you should consider applying for the vacancy of Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Surrey.Thepositionboasts a handsome salaryandm any perks as one of theleading gures of theU niversityin regards to the future of UniSand its future educational investments.
IthasbeenannouncedthatPatrickJ. DowlingCBEDLFR E ng FRS, Professor of Civil Engineering, will be standing down asVi c eChancellorandChiefExecutive of the University of Surrey.An advert for asuitable replacement iscurrentlybeing publicised on the UniS Vacancy Website for someone whocould provide a notable and monumental performance as the University of Surrey’s new Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive.The job-description emphasises that the successful candidateshouldhave “strongleadershipand vision”, “academic credibility”,and“signicantleadership andmanagementskills”to“continue the development oftheU niversityinthe challenging HEe n v iro n m e n t.
In addition to retirement fromth e U n iv e rsity of Surrey, Professor Dowling has agreed to takeonthe chair of theBA Council, the BritishAssociationfortheAdvancem ent of Scienceannounced at thebeginningof February.In a press release sent fromthe University, the Vice Chancellor said, “I am delightedtobetakingupthisim portant appointmentasChairoftheBA.Itis absolutely fundamental to the future health of the nation’s economyandquality of life that the role of science be fully understood, appreciatedandsupportedbyall.Iam
Professor Dowling has presided over much of the expansion of Surreyon its StagH ill campus - Austin Pearce, the Duke of Kent building,MillenniumHouse,University Court, theD aphneJackson Building, and theSurreyManagementSchool;heis currentlyw orkingonthenewManor Park plans to expand the university across the A3. TheVChasbeen instrumental inm aking theuniversityknown internationally, and hasprom otedU niS far aeld. Hittingthe
newslastJ a n u a ry,hepushedtowards
unlikely to be greatly affected, but there will beanextensivehand-over period. Ifthe newV C has particularly different ideas to
Professor Dowlingregarding variable fees, for example, the university policy would be directlya ff e c t e d - thenewV C will arrive at a crucial time in the progression towards the new system. Professor Dowling recently announced plans to form a team to assess the use of newfundingreceivedfro mvariable fees, including student representatives; it will entirelydependonthenewV C as to whether he chooses to take particular note of this team or not.
Also at a crucial stage is the Manor Park development - plans for thenewcam pus are expected to have been approved by the Council in one form or another by the time thenewVC arrives, andm uch of hisor her tenure at Surrey will be involvedw ith seeingthe project throughtoestablishing the new campus. Many decisions remain to be made, and the vision which the newV C has will directly affect its implementation.
TheU niversity of Surrey is at acrucial moment inits history, withvariablefees, new developments, a new campus andthe continued expansion of Surrey’s image and fame.ThenextVic e -C h a n c e llo rwillbe instrumental ultimately in the success of the future of Surrey. The question on barefacts’ lips is: Who is in the running?
The views expressed within the paper are those of individual authors and do not
necessarily represent the views of the Editor, the University of Surrey Students’
Union or the University of Surrey. This publication may not be reproduced in whole
or in part, stored in any form, copied or distributed, without the express permission
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In three week’s time barefacts 2003-4 will be opening its pages for
the last time. Yes, only four more issues of your beloved paper this
year (including this one). However, the bf team will be returning
after Easter for one nal showdown, with an as yet unnamed
magazine. It may seem a little early, but we’ve decided it’s probably
best not to soldier through right to the end of semester, so that the
dedicated barefacts team can put the amazing effort they put into
the paper each week into their, um, exams! Thanks guys - you’ve all
been extra specially amazing stars this year. xx
further and higher education campuses yesterday (Wednesday 25th February) as part of NUS’ week of action in protest at the government’s plans to introduce variable top-up fees. Many students downed their books for a complete shutdown of campuses in a nationwide action which involved demonstrations, pickets and rallies. The lecturers’ union the Association of University Teachers (AUT) were also out on strike against their employers’ current pay proposals.
At 10:30am on Wednesday Mandy Telford and Sally Hunt lent their support to students at the University of London Union, Malet Street, who were handing out degrees from the ‘University of Hard Knocks’ in protest at the government’s funding proposals.
They then joined the picket line at the University College of London (UCL), Gower Street entrance at 11:30am, where students and lecturers stood shoulder to shoulder in protest at the government’s plans to force a market onto higher education.
NUS President Mandy Telford said: “In an unprecedented move up to 5 million students and lecturers will make it plainly clear to the government that it has not won the war on top-up fees. Despite scraping through the
Second Reading vote with a small majority today’s action shows that there is widespread opposition to plans to fees.
“It is abundantly obvious that students do not want to be forced into a marketplace where they have to choose their course based on the ability to pay and not on aptitude and further to be taught by underpaid and demotivated lecturers.
“The government needs to act now and listen to the concerns raised by universities, students, staff and the general public. The HE Bill as it stands fails to address these concerns and must be stopped before it is too late.”
At Union Council on Tuesday 24th February, The University of Surrey Students’ Union held an indicative vote to show whether Surrey students were generally in support of or against the AUT action this week. Council concluded that it would generally show support for the industrial action this week, but voted against supporting the ‘working to rule’ which will be commencing on Monday 1st March. The consequences of this could mean students do not have their work marked or returned, exams may not be set, and nal year students could see a delay in receiving their nal degree.
Bristol has voted to disafliate itself from the National Union of Students (NUS). At an AGM on Thursday 5th February, students voted 227 to 145 in favour of forming an independent union, with 22 abstentions. This is a particularly notable move as Bristol Students’ Union was a founding member of the NUS.
Ofcers from the Union said the NUS was now too expensive and did not adequately represent Bristol students, a feeling shared
President of Bristol Students’ Union, Can Okar, who proposed the motion, said “It costs more than £40,000 a year to be part of the NUS. We felt it wasn’t value for money and we don’t feel it is representative of the student body here. We have to now look at alternatives to having some kind of national voice.”
Bristol University isn’t the rst union to make the break. It joins Students’ Unions at Southampton, Imperial College and in
Scotland. One student, Tom Davies, said it was not the rst time the union had tried to make the break: “Most people won’t think this will make any difference, maybe a few less discounts in student shops. Bristol students are politically disengaged from student and national politics anyway.”
Last year University of Surrey students voted to stay afliated to the National Union of Students in a campus wide referendum held at the same time as the 2003 Sabbatical Elections. However, 10% of students were not in favour, a rise on two year’s previous. This will come up for a review in a year’s time, unless a motion overriding it is passed through Union Council before that time.
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I am writing to complain about something which I believe affects a lot of us students here at Surrey and indeed across the country. But rstly I wish to criticise the letters you publish most of them concern such triing matters, or minor inconveniences that printing them seems to me merely to highlight a bigger problem that students are self-obsessed, overly critical layabouts that seem to spend more time enjoying themselves and being generally irresponsible than doing actual work. And therein lies the problem. However, I have given this much thought and wish to let my opinionated and prejudiced views be distributed via a small and insigni cant student paper. There is a solution, which although radical, I believe will solve all these problems and more. Sea-lions will also be beneted.
A radical restructuring of universities put simply, remove all the students. In other words, you hand over a small fee, and in exchange are awarded some sort of notional degree. The advantages of this are enormous and readily apparent to anyone; it is worthwhile just considering
the time saved by hundreds of thousands of students not being required to learn facts and pass exams on courses which last 3 or even 4 years. Secondly, the Governments new proposals will no longer be necessary the running costs of a university with no students will be dramatically reduced. Foreign students would be liberated from the tedious and expensive business of travelling to and living in another country exchange programs could expand leaps and bounds without the restriction of arranging places and accommodation overseas. In addition, the Governments targets of 50% university enrolment could be reached and even broken I suspect almost 100% of young adults would be placed in the empowering position of being able to obtain a degree. This way young adults can become productive members of the workforce immediately after nishing school, with none of the economic burdens associated with universities forced on the unfortunate taxpayer.
I am writing to shamelessly plug MaDSoc’s musical which is happening in Week 7. From the 3rd to the 6th March at 8pm and an additional 2.30pm performance on the Saturday, the cast of A Slice of Saturday Night want to give you a night to remember. Tickets are only 5 and are available from the union between 12 and 2 and also from the Electric Theatre 01483 444789. When I was on my travels around campus, I discovered
that many people I spoke to have never been to see a musical before, so I challenge you, come watch A Slice of Saturday Night and nd out what makes musical so popular. I can guarantee you that all students and staff will know at least one of the songs as they’re all revamped 60s classics. Oh, and there’s girls in hotpants too.
On Monday Charles Clarke, the education secretary, set out the rst draft of the remit of the new Of ce for Fair Access (Offa).
The Guardian quotes Mr Clark as saying: “Our reforms to higher education will open up opportunity. The Of ce for Fair Access is an important part of this drive. Today I am publishing more details of how it will work. Offa will be necessary, focused, non- bureaucratic, powerful, open and nothing to do with admissions. University are as passionate about widening participation as I am. Access agreements will be input driven based on nancial support, nancial advice and outreach work. Access agreements are not about dictating admissions policies and OFFA will not have any powers over university admissions.”
Mr Clarke’s draft guidance and legislation outlines several main points. Firstly, Offa would make agreements with those universities that wish to charge top-up fees. These would include details of bursaries, outreach work and contact with potential students. Universities charging additional fees will also need to report to Offa every year.
Offa will focus on the universities with the poorest record of widening participation, who are most likely to charge full fees. Offa will also be independent of Hefce, England’s funding council, but will use the data Hefce collects rather than place an additional burden of paperwork on universities.
Offa is already infamous, even before its creation - it has been dubbed ‘OffToff’ by the media, and is much maligned as an added layer of beaurocracy.
Preliminary gures from the voting booths put the number of votes up by approximately half on last year - on Monday alone there were some 450 votes, around 150 up on last year.
In the past, student apathy has been blamed for low turn-out, and also as the reason for so few candidates standing in past years. Last year saw VP Societies & Culture go uncontested, and only VP Sports managed three candidates. This year, however, the newly created VP Postgraduate Affairs position has the fewest candidates with just two in the running, whilst VP Education & Welfare has ve candidates. In total there were 10 candidates for 5 positions, and this
Much of the success of this year’s improved turn-out has been attributed to election campaigning - with 22 candidates, there are simply more posters, despite their continual removal by university staff and ‘wayward factions’.
Many expected this year’s elections to have a lower turn-out than last year, as electronic voting is not available this year. Off-campus voters have had to apply for postal voting forms in advance, leaving some unable to participate.
Voting is still open until Friday 27th, and voting stations are open in the Union and Lecture Theatres, complete with candidates on hand to assist you in your decision.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?