June 19, 2017

Standing together

The UK is going through terrible times at the moment. This morning, we held a minute's silence for the horror of those lost in the Grenfell Tower fire.

Over the past few weeks, we have seen terrorist attacks in Westminster, Manchester, London Bridge, and now on worshippers at Finsbury Park Mosque. All these actions are repellent; they seek to divide us.

Many of these recent attacks sought to kill randomly. The attack at Finsbury Park sought to kill specifically - a deliberate attack on the Islamic community, in the Holy Month.

I want to register my solidarity with those affected in London and Manchester, and members of Muslim communities everywhere. For our own community here at Warwick: let's stand together.


Warwick staff and students can access support and guidance from Wellbeing Support Services

June 12, 2017

Unconscious bias

We’re holding a day to Showcase Diversity at the University of Warwick on 14 June. I hope staff and students join us to play their part in celebrating and advancing our commitment to equality and diversity at Warwick.

Christine Ennew, Provost at Warwick, comments here on how our unconscious bias can impact inclusion, and how our understanding of ourselves and others can drive a willingness to discuss our diversity in a respectful way.

Last weekend, I found myself watching “The Imitation Game” – for a second time. If you haven’t seen the movie it’s a biopic of pioneering computer scientist, Alan Turing. It documents the work he did during the Second World War, breaking the Enigma code - an achievement which may have shortened the war by as much as two years. That in itself makes for a good story but it’s all framed by his sexuality and the way he was treated as a consequence – treatment that ultimately resulted in his suicide a decade later. Aside from the moral dimension of this tragedy, his early death was a massive loss for the UK in terms of the development of digital technologies.Similarly, when Dorothy Hodgkin was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1964, the Daily Mail allegedly recognised her achievement with the headline "Oxford housewife wins Nobel prize".

The bias that Alan Turing and Dorothy Hodgkin experienced was very open and explicit bias; indeed it was embodied in the legal frameworks of the time. But we’ve moved a long way since those times. We are getting so much better at recognising and celebrating diversity. We know the moral arguments for equality and we know the economic case for diversity.

We continue to confront challenges in relation to bias; not the overt and explicit bias experienced by Dorothy Hodgkin or Alan Turing, but the unconscious bias that emerges in causal, daily actions and behaviour. It’s the bias associated with stereotyping, with rules of thumb and with all of the shortcuts that our brains make to help us cope with the intensity and complexity of our daily lives.

Along with some of my colleagues from the Warwick’s executive team, I recently joined a training session on “unconscious bias”. The session was designed not to eliminate biases, but to make us more aware of how our judgements of individuals and our behaviours may be influenced by our backgrounds, experiences and cultural environments. As well as raising awareness of our own individual and diverse biases, the training session also sought to help us to understand how our biases impact on others. Often those affected by unconscious bias are those who are in a minority and perhaps more likely to feel vulnerable because they are different. But all too often, we simply don’t know how others will react, how they will feel when they experience unconscious bias.

We are all likely to be affected by unconscious bias – because we may display it through our actions or because we experience it in our interactions with others. Because unconscious bias is an almost instinctive or automatic reaction, it can be difficult to eliminate. But we can mitigate its impact – through our awareness and understanding of ourselves, through our attempts to understand the experiences and feelings of others and through a willingness to discuss in a respectful way.

I hope colleagues and students at Warwick join us at our day to Showcase Diversity on 14 June.

Christine Ennew Provost sig

May 31, 2017

Campus Developments

I have just read our Students’ Union President-elect’s blog about how Hope and student representatives are working with University service departments to make improvements to study spaces on campus.

Everyone who has been to Warwick over our fifty-year history will be able to remember the construction, the roadworks, the refurbishments that signify improvements on campus. This year alone, we’ve completed the Oculus, our fabulous learning and teaching building, and the Slate, our conferences venue; we’re working on new student residences, a new sports hub, the extraordinary National Automotive Innovation Centre; the Wolfson-funded mathematical sciences building; a new biomedical research building; and we’re soon to start an enormous redevelopment of the Arts Centre, periphery car-parks and our new Arts Faculty building. I’m not sure there has ever been a time when we haven’t had a crane on campus somewhere.

It can be easy to forget about the impact of smaller, localised or ‘business as usual’ improvements when we see such major new buildings, spaces and infrastructure. But, actually, as Hope says in her message, we need to continue to listen to our students to ensure we’re continually enhancing the campus in all the ways that genuinely meet their needs. This is just as important.

As a world-leading University we seek to attract the best staff and students from around the world. And we need a superb, dynamic campus to do this: buildings that support excellent teaching and research; facilities and public spaces to make it a unique and welcoming destination, refurbishment to refresh older facilities, supporting changing expectations and requirements.

Constant change, improvement and renewal means occasional disruption for the community, no matter how much we seek to mitigate it. But, it makes for a world-class campus too.


May 15, 2017

Make sure your voice is heard – register to vote by 22 May

Register to vote

SU Democracy and Development officerWith Becky Gittins, Warwick SU Democracy & Development Officer, I’m sharing a call to action to students, at my University, Warwick, and across the UK: register to vote by Monday 22 May to make your voice heard in the General Election.

Students occupy what can often be a precarious position in politics. Despite falling under the same generic label of 'student', this is an extremely diverse group made up of many demographics, nationalities, motivations and desires. Students do not always choose the same route to making their voices heard, nor do they always co-ordinate efforts. Being at University for a fixed period of time means they are also a transient population in the region or city where they’re studying. There are also many misconceptions around who is eligible to vote, and frequent misunderstandings around voter registration processes. There is a wealth of guidance online, but engaging in elections, and voting itself, is not an obvious, straightforward experience for many members of this community. When you consider that 75% of 18-24 year-olds voted to remain in the EU, there could well be feeling within this generation that voting also doesn’t actually get you what you want, or at least that voting doesn’t impact what happens in the end.

But. This generation can have impact. And that is turnout. Not only do students represent a significant proportion of local constituencies, but an increase of just 30% in the 18-24 vote could be enough to influence the entire General Election. If our 18-24 year olds use their vote, they become a priority for politicians and, indeed, a key interest group in national decision-making. This generation can play an active role in the decisions that they care about and that affect them.

At Warwick, the University and Students’ Union share a belief in the power of students to be active participants in our democracy, and key players in the decision-making processes of our communities, our region and our country. From the new academic year, we will enable our eligible students to register to vote as part of their University enrolment process. This will overcome the impact of changes to Individual Voter Registration made in 2014 which wiped thousands of students off the electoral register overnight. It will also make it easier, quicker, simpler to register to vote. We genuinely hope this step will help encourage our students to use their vote.

Until then, students need to register to vote the old-fashioned way. Please do. The decisions taken this June will have far-reaching implications. Our student community has the power and knowledge to influence decisions and should play its part in our future. The biggest threat to the strength of that generation is not realising the power it has in the first place.

For the upcoming General Election on 8 June, the deadline to register to vote is Monday 22 May. Please do.

Best wishes

Becky and Stuart

More information on how to register and eligibility can be found on MyWarwick

April 25, 2017

Exams: support and good wishes

At universities and schools across the country, students are preparing for exams. We all remember that time and the hours of study, the nerves, the anticipation, the slight hysteria that creeps into most of your conversations with fellow students, the relief once it's over.

At Warwick, I've written to all our students taking exams over the next few weeks to wish them good luck. I want to reiterate that message publicly, and share a message from our Students’ Union team.

Through the University and Students' Union, we have much in place to support students. We have online guidance on managing revision, we have one to one advice, we have 24-hour study spaces so you can choose the place and time to study that suits you best. We have advice and workshops on keeping active, looking after your mental wellbeing, taking breaks. Through Creative Warwick, we are showcasing all the things our student societies do to actively improve students’ wellbeing through keeping their minds in gear, helping students to relax and connect with the outside world in a time where it is very easy to become more insular, providing events and performances to perform and celebrate.

chloe wynnHere’s a good luck note from Chloe Wynne, the SU Welfare Officer:

Dear Warwick students,

As you enter into this immense part of the year, we wish you the very best of luck with all of your assessments, and hope that you are living healthily and happily!

Remember, ‘self-care’ involves more than streaming a TV series and having a bath, so figure out what routine works best for you, and reward yourself with meaningful work breaks regularly. Self-preservation isn’t self-indulgence, so take care.

Look out for your friends this term, and if you want to start a conversation on their wellbeing, we have plenty of tips on how to approach it at warwicksu.com/areyouok

If you want some support with whatever it is you’re going through, the SU Advice Centre is here for you. We’ve got plenty of expert pages on our website at warwicksu.com/advice. Or if you need to speak with us, then booking an appointment is easy.

It’s been a pleasure being your Welfare Officer this year, and I truly hope that you each succeed in whatever it is that motivates you. You‘ve made it to this point, go that little bit further.

Best wishes,

Chloe Wynne (Welfare Officer), the Advice Centre Team, and all at Warwick Students’ Union x

We're proud of our student community at Warwick, and we are here with you every step of the way.


March 28, 2017


West Midlands together event

Last week I welcomed the first public meeting of West Midlands Together, which was held on the Warwick campus. West Midlands Together was founded as a cross-party campaign by Neena Gill and Anthea McIntyre, (both Members of the European Parliament for the West Midlands) to combat hatred and intolerance and promote social harmony in the wake of the EU referendum vote, in one of Britain's most vibrant and diverse regions.

The event was attended by a great range of people, including community leaders, local councillors, representatives from business, the Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands, and the District Crown Prosecutor.

I hope that our University, Warwick, is a place where we can debate, listen, find solutions together. Warwick is ranked the 17th most international university in the world by the Times Higher Education. This is a fantastic symbol of our success – that we are inclusive, open, supporting the best to be the best. It is a culture I’m proud of being part of, and inspired to engage in and to nurture this safe environment for study and research. But since the EU referendum last summer, we have seen an increase across our region in reported incidents of hate crime to a level we have not seen before. However people voted in the EU referendum, I am sure that not one of us voted for this worrying outbreak of hate being faced by members of communities on the basis of their race, culture, gender, sexual orientation or religious or social beliefs.

In one of the many, many articles written after the Westminster attack last week, a piece in the Daily Telegraph said we should deny the terrorists the disproportionate reaction they seek from us. Many interpreted this as a call to action from Government. But it is more than that. It is a call to action for each and every one of us. What can we do, as employers, public bodies, universities, community leaders, parents, individuals, to actively seek to stop hatred and to promote unity? West Midlands Together is one such positive example of taking action. Each of us must add our own individual effort to always challenge each prejudiced comment and every action that seeks to offend and to strive to find ways that unite rather than divide.

The West Midlands Together event came at the end of what was a shocking week for all of us following the Westminster attack. Those who perversely took the EU referendum result as a signal to spew more words and actions of hate and intolerance may sadly take the imminent triggering of Article 50 as further encouragement. This is a key moment for us to work to renew our determination to demonstrate our unity and our sense of community.

Best wishes


February 27, 2017

Why Warwick in California; an update from project donors UDF

I was pleased that Michael Faust from the project donors, University Development Foundation(UDF), could join us at the staff briefing on Warwick in California project in December last year and since then both the Warwick team and UDF continue to work closely together on the project.

I would like to share Kyriakos Tsakopoulos, President of UDF’s views on the project and working with our university.

Best wishes


UDF is thrilled to partner with Warwick to establish the first private, world-leading research university to be founded in California since Stanford in 1885.

With Warwick, we have found the right match. Warwick became a world leading university from literally nothing but green fields and a bold vision, in 50 years. Born and raised on the British countryside, today Warwick has international impact through its students, faculty and academic partnerships around the world. Warwick is a top 6 university in the U.K. and home to a Fields Medalist in Mathematics. Its faculties deliver teaching and research of the highest quality in an environment where technology transfer and industry collaboration ensure that ideas born at Warwick do not live solely in the classroom but thrive in the world and have practical and positive impact on the quality of human life and the natural environment.

In turn, California is the largest state economy in the US. It is a laboratory and a leader in path-breaking policies in clean energy, communication and culture. As California is the wealthiest consumer market in America, Sacramento, the state capital, is itself currently experiencing a $3.9 Billion urban core development renaissance.

Californians are largely characterized by creative energy and a pioneering spirit of innovation, and welcome people from all over the world who seek to contribute to our marketplace of ideas. We are keenly aware that in the US, 26% of Nobel Prize winners are immigrants and 70% of the most successful startups valued at $1 billion or more relied on immigrants as key players. Many of the best and brightest students in the world seek their higher education in California, and this makes it fertile ground for the University of Warwick.

And we are hard at the plow. Just last week, Sir George Cox and US Project Director Bob Hogg joined us in California to provide updates to local business and government leaders, potential philanthropic and volunteer supporters, as well as to individuals and families who were among the original land donors to this venture. This week I am excited to be back on campus hosting some of those very same people who have traveled here to experience first-hand the quality and spirit of the University of Warwick.

On a personal level, all involved on our end have found the people of Warwick – students, alums, faculty, administrators, members of Council – to be nothing short of wonderful. Brilliance without arrogance. Honest and straight forward. Passionate yet prudent. Among all involved there is a palpable excitement, perhaps from the knowledge that we have both the rare privilege of imprinting something of ourselves on a new institution and the solemn responsibility to set the values, organization and structure that will determine whether or not it flourishes. No doubt our efforts have been facilitated by friendship, which will surely augment and enhance our mutual enjoyment of the challenging work ahead.”

Kyriakos Tsakopoulos UDFKyriakos Tsakopoulos,

President, University Development Foundation

More information about Warwick in California can be found on the project webpages.

February 08, 2017

2017: The Year the West Midlands comes home

Birmingham skyline

Since becoming Warwick’s Vice-Chancellor a year ago, it has been my ambition to re-establish this University’s commitment to our region. On 10 February I’m delighted to be speaking as part of a Coventry and Warwickshire Champions event in Birmingham to highlight just some of the strengths Coventry and Warwickshire bring to the broader West Midlands region.

Simon Swain, our Pro-Vice-Chancellor for External Engagement, reflects here on some of the ways in which we seek to contribute and add value, and sets out our aspiration to play our part in making the region even stronger in 2017.

Best wishes


2017 promises to be a big year for Coventry, Warwickshire and the broader West Midlands region. We’re fewer than 100 days from the vote for the first directly-elected mayor for the West Midlands; legislation that will turn HS2 from drawings to train tracks is set to pass in the coming weeks; Coventry will make its bid to be 2021 City of Culture later this year, and we’ve just seen the City Council formally adopt a 10-year cultural strategy for the city, which was led by Jonothan Neelands from WBS.

At Warwick, we strongly believe universities have a huge role to play in the regions in which they are located. We are drivers of innovation, productivity and cultural development through knowledge exchange, skills development and academic research, as well as the huge input our students and staff make on so many levels. We are crucial to making our region a better place to work and live. So how can we most effectively contribute to Coventry, Warwickshire and the West Midlands in 2017?

From Warwick’s inception, we have sought ways to positively impact the region’s skills base, cultural engagement, manufacturing and business development. Here are just some examples.

Looking at skills and apprenticeships, following the successful development of the first WMG Academy for Young Engineers in Coventry, we have opened a second Academy in Solihull. This equips even more of the region’s young people with the technical skills needed for either employment or higher education. We have also introduced the WMG Applied Engineering Programme aimed at higher apprentices looking to study for a degree whilst working, and a longstanding partnership with National Grid provides training for young people in the region who are not in education, employment or training (NEETs) to help them into work.

2017 will see the opening of the National Automotive Innovation Centre on our campus, a £150m investment as part of the long-term collaboration between WMG, Jaguar Land Rover and Tata Motors European Technical Centre. It’s the largest private sector investment in any UK university to date, building Warwick’s reputation as a powerhouse of automotive innovation, and cementing the region’s reputation as a hub for manufacturing.

Our Science Park is a hive of activity for the region’s small and medium-sized employers (SMEs). We host 135 businesses, providing advice on finance and incubation, research and development and knowledge transfer. In partnership with Warwickshire County Council and the European Regional Development Fund, we recently started Business Ready - a new support programme designed to help companies achieve and exceed their growth potential, boosting the region’s economy through the creation of highly-skilled jobs. We want to expand this work in the coming year.

We are also developing an exciting vision for a new Innovation Campus at Wellesbourne. We’re inviting inspirational businesses to join us for truly collaborative working and the development, demonstration and testing of genuine innovation that accords with our mission to educate and foster new knowledge, working with regional agencies to create jobs in a sustainable manner.

Warwick Arts Centre, the largest outside London, provides events, performances, schools engagement and community-led productions. Over three quarters of the Arts Centre’s audience come from within a 45-minute catchment area. With nearly one million visitors a year, the venue plays a crucial role in attracting people to Coventry. At present we are preparing for a major investment to make it bigger and better!

With the help of Nigel Driffield, our newly appointed Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Regional Engagement, we’ll be doing as much as we can in 2017 to work with our regional agencies and organisations helping to bring new jobs and expertise into our neighbourhoods. We’ll be thinking hard too about how we can give our students more opportunities for placements in regional companies and organisations, and how we can extend our input into excellent local initiatives like FabLab Coventry.

We’re also hoping to do more with our partners in schools across the region, building on our terrific teacher training and our student volunteers, and we look forward to working more closely too with the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, developing our key shared research to the benefit of everyone who lives in this area. And soon we’ll be taking the West Midlands out of itself: to London to officially launch the City of Culture bid and to the global gathering of planners and developers in Cannes where we’ll stand alongside Coventry City Council in trying to bring investment to our campus and our locality and play our part in the region’s vision for success and wellbeing.

Looking to the ambitious plans for growth and development across Coventry, Warwickshire and the broader West Midlands region, we are absolutely committed to playing our part and I look forward to seeing more to come in 2017.

Simon Swain

Simon Swain, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for External Engagement

February 01, 2017

My first year as your Vice–Chancellor

Stuart_graduationIt has been a year since my first day as Vice-Chancellor at Warwick. Incredible really – just a year. I want to take the opportunity to write to the whole Warwick community to reflect on that year, and to thank you all for all the successes we’ve achieved together, the challenges we’ve faced, and the amount that you have contributed and shown me.

Warwick is a large and hugely successful organisation. We continue to produce excellent research, secure important research income, and work well on impacting that research on society. We have recruited excellent students, and continue to develop and improve our educational offering. Our underpinning strategies are strong – we are financially sound, and continue to develop good national and international partnerships.

Yet to me, it seems much longer than a year. Nationally we have had Brexit. A new Government, with a new industrial strategy, a new schools strategy, and a stronger regional agenda. We have TEF. And throughout the period, the Higher Education and Research Bill has rolled on, with Government seemingly unwilling to listen to anyone about anything to do with higher education at all. Worrying times, in many ways.

But we have also had some really big positives at Warwick over the year. Many of you in the staff and student body put some big issues onto the agenda when I took over. I want to share my top ten of what we’ve addressed together:

  1. For the first time, Warwick has committed to pay at the levels set by the Living Wage Foundation. This is a rate higher than the national minimum wage. It does make things more expensive to run – for example, our cafes and restaurants. But it is an important commitment as a good employer and I’m proud we’re doing this.
  2. Each of the last few years has seen us struggle to provide accommodation for all our new students – usually those who have applied very late, for one reason or another. This is not the start of the Warwick experience we want these students to have, so I am pleased that we are increasing our accommodation offer close to 1,000 rooms on campus and in Coventry from 2017/18.
  3. The Students’ Union raised the ambition of opening the Library 24 hours a day in term-time. This is now agreed and the Library is now 24/7, enhancing the learning experience we offer to our students.
  4. As a tenet of the Government’s Higher Education reforms, the cap on home/EU tuition fees will now increase in line with inflation. We’ve seen many universities elect to impose that increase on their existing students as well as new. Warwick has not; our current students will not see any increase in the regulated fee.
  5. We were the first University to publicly condemn the outdated Zellick guidelines on processes for dealing with sexual violence. SU colleagues and I are now working with the Coventry Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre to seek to bring their services to campus to strengthen the support we can provide for victims of sexual violence in our community.
  6. Following changes to the electoral register, there is grave concern that a large number of students might be disenfranchised across England and Wales. With the SU and our regional Councils and the Electoral Commission, we are now working to ensure our student systems capture the data to ensure our eligible students are correctly registered and able to vote.
  7. The Disabled Students’ Allowance plays an important part in enabling access to higher education. But we have seen reduced state funding, leaving some students at a disadvantage. At Warwick, we have committed to helping those most affected and often not able to use our standard accommodation, by providing subsidised en suite and on-campus accommodation. In this way, we can limit the impact of barriers to disabled students in being part of our campus community.
  8. Following consultations with our community, all new buildings will now include gender neutral toilets, with all current single occupancy toilets to be adapted to become gender neutral across 2017, as we aim to provide gender neutral toilets throughout the campus. We are also currently running a consultation on converting two of the facilities in the main library into gender neutral toilets. I am delighted to say that, in addition, this has received very positive media coverage.
  9. Our Wellbeing Support Services team has expanded, with a number of new staff. We are also increasing our spend on mental health support by over £500,000 over the next three years, recognising the imperative of supporting this critical aspect of the student experience. In particular we have recognised the role of mental health support with the creation of a number of dedicated mental health specialists.
  10. Oculus buildingFinally, I am delighted with the opening of the Oculus, our dedicated learning and teaching building. There are also a number of really important developments coming to life on campus: a new sports hub, the extraordinary National Automotive Innovation Centre; the Wolfson-funded mathematical sciences building;a new biomedical research building; and an enormous redevelopment of the Arts Centre – all enhancing our campus for students, staff and visitors.

City of Culture - backing the bidLooking beyond the campus, we have recommitted to our region, and are playing a hugely important role in the work to secure the title of City of Culture for Coventry.

Our California campus plans move forward: we secured our first building, and progressed a significant amount of the complex legal and financial regulatory work to be able to create a new university in California. We became a founding member of the Guild of European Research Intensive Universities, and we renewed our partnership with Monash University in Australia for a further five years.

And our league table positions continued to prove the quality of Warwick externally. Let me highlight one that you might not expect: we rose to 34th place in this year’s People and Planet Green League. This reflected the enormous amount of work from colleagues in the Estates Office, and elsewhere across campus.

Last but most important of all, there’s more to say about our people: we now have the first woman Provost in this University, the first woman Registrar here, and the first woman Chancellor. We also, for the first time, have a woman in the role of Pro-Vice-Chancellor for research. These changes are an important rebalancing of our executive team hopefully helping in just one way to signal our commitment to equality at all levels of the University. All universities need to do more in terms of equality and diversity; and that includes Warwick. One of the most important aspects of this I would like to talk about with more people is how we become still more welcoming to students and staff from UK BME communities.

Looking at Warwick’s broader community, my executive team and I have tried to put in place channels that enable us to engage with you, to be open, to hear your views and share our thoughts. I’ve established this blog, and regular all-staff meetings and student debates. I’ve tried my very hardest to get out across campus, to meet staff and students and spend time speaking and listening to you.

If you have read this far, let me reiterate my thanks for your contributions, support and engagement this year. I’m proud of what we have achieved this year; I hope you can be too. There is a huge amount more to do; I’m not complacent. Strategically, we’re committed to action in the core pillars of our University strategy: for example, a new research strategy, a new education strategy, a regional engagement strategy, a new masterplan for the campus. In year two, you will see more outcomes in across a whole range of challenges. Amongst all the challenges, there are opportunities too, and I look forward to focusing on them with you. I hope that you feel that this has been a year in which the University as a whole has moved forward.

Best wishes


January 30, 2017

Submission to TEF

I wanted to share a copy of the letter I’ve sent to the Times Higher about Warwick’s submission to the Teaching Excellence Framework to clarify our institutional position and concerns:

On 26th January, Warwick, like other English universities, put in its Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) submission. It was with mixed feeling. Mixed because, although we agree with the fundamental proposition that universities should provide high quality teaching, we don’t believe that TEF will measure that. We feel we have been backed into a corner.

This is very frustrating as we have good reason to be proud of our teaching. We attract very bright students: our teaching helps them to transform their thinking through in-depth engagement and challenge within their discipline, as well as offering opportunities to learn beyond boundaries. We put our money where our mouth is: we have just opened the Oculus, a new learning and teaching building at £18.5million, complementing our innovative Teaching and Learning Grids (£2.87m); invested £3.19m in our Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning to develop and embed innovative pedagogies and invested over £5m to run Warwick International Higher Education Academy to support our teachers. It is hardly surprising that we attract many international as well as domestic students, nor that our students are the most sought after by employers, and that our alumni exceed the average sustained employment outcomes five years after graduating.

But very little of this will be captured. This is because the metrics are flawed. This is not renegade opinion but the overwhelming view of those actually involved in Higher Education. It is why many of our staff and students at Warwick campaigned for us to stay out of TEF, setting out justified fears about the continued marketization of our sector. Yet the Government has us over a barrel. It has linked TEF to fees and potentially our ability to recruit international students. The risks are too high. We submitted in both senses of the word.

And it is not only the TEF which is of concern: some of the measures in the Higher Education and Research Bill threaten the very nature of the autonomy in Universities which has made UK education the global success it is. The proposed measures treat education as if it is a commodity, just like any other.

This is frustrating and it is puzzling. My message to the Government is this:

our sector, while not perfect, is the envy of the world...let's make sure it stays that way."


Article originally published in the Times Higher Education.

June 2017

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