Students battled the horrible weather and marched in protest of TEF from the Union to disrupt the Senate meeting, where the petition was delivered to the Vice Chancellor. The Teaching Excellence Framework is a controversial new government initiative most notably criticised for creating a formal link between quality of teaching and rising tuition fees.
The petition, which since being created last week has reached over 1,100 signatures, was delivered to the Senate, which is the University’s highest academic committee.
Instead of boycotting the NSS, the Union has decided to call on the leaders of the University to act, and to use their influence to secure the best deal for current and future students and the petition is intended to show the Vice-Chancellor and his team that students care about these issues.
Speakers at the march included school reps and members of the Student Exec. They discussed how the TEF would base the value of a degree on the average salary that graduates earn within six months, which will result in the devaluation of certain degrees, and particularly Arts subjects.
The letter presented to the Senate stated that LUU are opposed to the TEF because none of the proposed metrics are reliable measures of teaching quality, it enables tuition fees to be raised easily and LUU remain committed to free education. It also stated that the marketisation of higher education undermines freedom of thought on campuses and that increasing costs will disproportionately impact students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Christine Thomas, a Fine Art and History of Art student said “I oppose TEF because it is just another step in turning education into a business and will be used to hike up fees again until university is something only a very select group will be able to afford.”
If you want to sign the petition or want more information on it, click here.