OUSU has voted to “to oppose and condemn the Vice-Chancellor’s suggestion that undergraduate tuition fees should further increase”.
In a council meeting on Wednesday of 1st week, the comprehensive motion, proposed by OUSU President Tom Rutland, passed with no ammendments by a clear majority.
It explicitly attacked Vice Chancellor Andrew Hamilton, after he claimed that students should pay a fee closer to £16,000: “OUSU Council believes that the Vice-Chancellor should be focusing on defending the University of Oxford and the higher education sector from further government cuts and lobbying for more public funding, rather than lobbying for the ability to charge undergraduate students more through the removal or relaxing of the current tuition fee cap.”
During the course of the meeting, there were various alternative proposals considered. Representatives from Trinity and Univ suggested watering down the wording, while those from St. Catherine’s sought to delay the vote to allow JCRs and MCRs more time for debate.
This latest action follows similar JCR motions condemning Hamilton in Brasenose, Jesus, Magdalen, Merton, Queen’s St Anne’s, Teddy Hall, St Peter’s and Wadham.
The motion mandates Rutland to write to the Vice-Chancellor on behalf of all Oxford students, expressing “the student body’s opposition to higher tuition fees and further cuts to higher education; students’ concerns about the access implications of suggesting fee levels of up to £16,000 a year and; the need for university management to stand with their students demanding great public funding for higher education, and opposing greater tuition fee charges.”
There was also a call for JCRs and MCRs to condemn Hamilton’s comments and “oppos[e] further government cuts to higher education and call for greater public funding of higher education.”
The furore was caused by Hamilton’s Annual Oration last week, in which he said that “a system of tuition charges more closely related to the true cost of the education provided is something that I believe in the longer run will have to be considered.”