UEA SU officers have responded to Professor Neil Ward, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs regarding his statement on the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).
Professor Ward had said that the university “would rather the TEF was not linked to inflationary fee increases, but we have lost that argument.”
In a blog on the student union’s website, UEA SU Undergraduate Education Officer Theo Antoniou-Phillips and Postgraduate Officer Maddie Colledge, said: “The government should not cut funding to universities and ask students to cover the deficit.”
The SU officers have taken a staunch stance against the government changes and say they are “disappointed” with Prof. Ward’s acceptance of the coming changes.
Antoniou-Phillips and Colledge say they are unsatisfied with how the university has responded to higher education reforms, but “acknowledge what a difficult situation this placed universities in.”
However, the SU officers believe despite the problems facing universities, the situation “is even shittier for students.” They add, “in the scrap between the government and universities, students are losing out.”
Both the National Union of Students (NUS) and Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) have publicly opposed the changes, arguing the new government criteria is unfair.
Antoniou-Phillips has said he believes the introduction of the new criteria is a “huge problem because it may put off students from poorer backgrounds from applying to the supposedly ‘better’ universities.”
As it is thought that tuition fees will be allowed to be raised dramatically to £12,000 by 2026, campaigners believe the situation will worsen in terms of accessibility to higher education.
In the early days of the TEF plans, UEA chiefs argued against its introduction, arguing that the criteria comprised a flawed one. Antoniou-Phillips and College say they are “asking UEA students to send a clear message to Professor Ward by continuing to stand against the TEF, and tuition fee rises.”