New Semester, New Year!
New Semester, New Year!
First off, Happy New year to all! I hope you had an amazing break. I had my first quiet one in a very long time and returned to the office fairly raring to go!
The first semester has been quite a busy one in my camp. I began the year going to the airport to meet many of our new International Students, then addressing all of you at The Rose Theatre. Quite an exciting day that was, I don’t think I’ve had to answer so many questions before in my life! Many of you are still friends of mine today. And still asking a million questions a minute! You have definitely helped make the semester interesting!
We saw the departure our then Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Mary Stuart, an amazing woman who has now gone off to be the new Vice Chancellor for Lincoln University. I sat on the interview panel for our new Deputy Vice-Chancellor. I was very happy to recommend the then Dean of Science, David Mackintosh to be our new Deputy Vice-Chancellor
Top of my agenda remains the cap on tuition fees, or the removal of the cap as the case may be. With the General Elections looming, I think it is of the utmost importance that we make sure our collective voices are heard loudly in the corridors of power. Students are known for being apathetic and not getting involved when election time comes around. Anecdotal evidence suggests students have the view that “they don’t listen anyway, so what’s the point?” I have to admit, I do share that view. But when I think someone’s not listening to me, I don’t stop talking, I talk louder and Louder and LOUDER until they have no choice but to listen. Right now, your education is slowly being taken from you, ever so slowly. It starts quietly, as you know, until the rug is completely removed from under you. The current system doesn’t allow accessibility for all. The government will argue, and have done so, that there has been an increase in HE intakes of late. Is this any surprise? With the current unemployment rates, people from all backgrounds are clamouring for a Higher Education, and a government claiming a target of 50% of the eligible population to have attended Higher Education. With the Student Loan Company showing an inability to deal with the growing number of students choosing the HE option there is no guarantee that future students will have access to student loans. What happens then?
My primary message to you students is not to sit quietly, but to speak, then speak louder and louder still.
YOU are affected by this. YOUR fees. YOUR lifestyle. YOUR student experience.
Watch this space for further developments