Released: Official Occupation Statement

The University’s statement on tuition fees is less clear than protesters had hoped.

browne review Cambridge University CUSU live blog occupation rahul mansigani Senate House statement uni council

The University issued a statement yesterday restating their position on Higher Education funding and tuition fees, but it may not satisfy many of the protesters.

Released to tie in with the key Commons vote on education this afternoon, the Uni Council seem to have set their stall out against government plans to slash education funding.

However, it is uncertain whether the policies outlined in the statement are as “clearly outlined” as CUSU President Rahul Mansigani commented. They certainly fall short of meeting the demands set out by the Old Schools occupiers last week, since they contain no new or concrete information. (See Wednesday 2.31pm on The Tab’s occupation blog for the occupiers demands).

Although the statement outlines the Uni’s commitment to access for students from a diverse range of backgrounds, it appears mostly to be packed with vague, flowery statements and get-out clauses, such as:

– Committing to “considering the most appropriate fee, bursary and access arrangements.”

– Arguing for a “significant degree” of public money for Higher Ed teaching and research.

The statements also fails to actively encourage the government to pursue a specific funding model.

David Wilson, a Clare 1st year, was scathing after reading the statement: “Again, the University aren’t willing to commit to anything that will break the mould. Obviously the occupiers haven’t achieved anything – they’ve just been an annoyance.”

Other students suspect that there is more to the date of issue of the statement than meets the eye, as the presence of many of the Cam protesters in London today means that there will be no immediate backlash or reaction from CamDefendEd, the organisation behind the last fortnight’s demonstrations.

The debates and protests over the Browne Report look set to rumble on well past today’s vote, and the Council confirm that they expect to “make further announcements” in the new year.