Leeds University has followed Oxford and become the second UK University to publicly declare a motion of ‘no confidence’ in Universities’ Minister, David Willetts.
The University’s motion of ‘no confidence’, passed at a meeting of their Senate on July 6th, follows the similar measure ratified by Congregation, Oxford’s ‘Parliament of Dons’, on June 2nd. The measure has been supported vocally by the Leeds UCU branch and the Leeds Student Union. Commenting on Leeds University’s decision, OUSU President and founding member of the No Confidence Campaign, David Barclay, declared the decision as “a huge step forward in the fightback against the Government’s disastrous plans for Universities.”
He added: “This brave decision by Leeds is the first of what will be a long line of blows to the Government’s vapid and dangerous White Paper.”
Leeds is the first University with the ‘managerial’ structure to pass this declaration. This is significant as it has unfounded previous fears that only Oxford and Cambridge with their unique governance structures would be the sole voices of dissent in the HE sector. It has now paved the way for other Universities to issue such a declaration and may catalyse a domino effect across the sector.