Response to Student Petition – 24 November 2010 I regard it as an important part of my duties to listen to the concerns of students at this University

which is why I have held two open meetings in my time as Principal as well as having regular discussions with the SRC. Like students, I and my colleagues on senior management group are deeply concerned at the impact that public spending cuts will have on higher education. I commend those students who have demonstrated in a peaceful and non-violent way to ensure a fair and properly funded future for UK universities and future generations of students. I believe, and have consistently argued, that higher education should, ideally, be funded 100% from the public purse. That remains my preferred scenario. However, at a time of unprecedented cuts in public spending, it is my responsibility to consider alternative funding models. In contributing to the debate on a possible Scottish solution, I hold the following principles as fundamental: firstly, that there should be no up-front tuition fees in Scotland, nor should students contribute anything during their studies. Secondly, that any from of graduation contribution should be progressive, linked to earnings and ability to pay. Perhaps even more importantly, a Scottish solution must maintain and enhance access to higher education for those from disadvantaged backgrounds and a proportion of revenues raised should be earmarked for students support. I am proud of the student experience which we offer at Glasgow, as evidenced by our high scorings in both the National Student survey and International Student Barometer. We regularly outperform our peers in the Russell Group and elsewhere in Scotland. And I can guarantee that protecting the quality of that student experience is paramount as we develop our response to budget cuts. I am also determined that Glasgow will move forward as a world-leading institution, enhancing research across a multitude of disciplines, and offering students a wide variety of courses in world-class facilities, with teaching carried out by those at the forefront in their field. All universities are facing difficult choices and, on the basis of the Government’s spending plans, it is inevitable that there will be job losses in universities throughout the country. In analysing how this University can best adapt to reduced public funding, I will continue to listen to and to work with students and staff. We will do our utmost to mitigate the effects of the cuts, and to protect the interests of our students. In reiterating my belief that higher education is a public as well as a private good, I pledge to students that I will continue to argue vigorously, in both public and private, for a fair deal for Universities and students. I welcome your commitment, as evidenced by your demonstration and the petition, and I hope you will work with me, and my colleagues on senior management group, to ensure a bright future for this University. Anton Muscatelli Principal

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful