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UCU comment on David Willetts' appointment

13 May 2010

The UCU today welcomed David Willetts' appointment as minister for universities and science and said he faced great challenges in his new role.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'We wish David Willetts well in his new role and look forward to discussing the challenges facing the sector with him. The marketisation of our further and higher education system will create profound social inequality and threaten the UK's global academic reputation.
 
'Mr Willets proved his ability to listen to staff concerns when committing to delay unpopular plans to make university research funding dependent upon economic impact. The academic community made clear its view that assessing and funding research according to its impact is unworkable and we urge him to put an end to this sorry chapter once and for all.
 
'He also needs to listen to the ever-widening consensus of opinion which opposes cuts in college and university budgets, caps on student numbers, the privatisation of academic institutions and increases in the cost of a university education for hard-working families.'
 
For more on the research proposals visit: Giant Albert Einstein joins union protests in Parliament
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