I am writing to you to express my very serious concerns about the government plans for universities and the proposed changes to the funding arrangements of higher education. I strongly support the public funding of universities. The concern to cut public spending and reduce the deficit offers no justification for a reduction in teaching support by 76% (which is well in excess of that demanded of other areas of spending). Students will be asked to pay two to three times as much as at present in fees, but there will be no additional money for Universities to spend on teaching and, for many Universities there will be a cut. The overall rationale of spending cuts is to prevent the burden of the present deficit from falling upon future generations. These proposals do precisely the opposite and make future students and their parents – your constituents – pay for the present debt and shoulder the cost of the public benefit of universities.
As a parent, a member of the academic community and a member of the public – and one of your constituents – I am dismayed not just about the content of these proposals but the fact that they have not been subject to proper discussion and democratic process, given no mandate for them was provided at the recent general election.
I urge you to support your constituents and to vote against these proposals.
Dr Chris Allen
(Gavin Williamson is my local MP)