Update: CUSU’s Paper Chase For Bursaries

CUSU are urgently rushing to save Cambridge bursaries, facing a race against time to drum up academic support.

academics bursaries CUSU cuts maria helming petition rahul mansigani regent house Slash tuition fees

Wed 2nd March, 01.35am: CUSU officers and the student members of  Council have negotiated an extension to the Graces deadline. It has now been moved to Friday 4th at 4pm.


Cambridge University Students’ Union (CUSU) is desperately fighting against uni proposals to cut student bursaries by more than 50%.

The student union has thrashed out two petitions, and officers are now clamouring to collect academics’ signatures to deliver them to the Old Schools by Wednesday morning.

Demands include that:

– the uni keeps giving maintenance bursaries of “at least the present levels”

– “a detailed Report to the Regent House” is given to justify £9,000 tuition fees

– a higher figure than the proposed 61-63% is set for state school admissions

– the total spending on bursaries on access is increased to four million pounds

And the race is now on to get support for these proposals, with Maria Helming, CUSU Education Officer, sending an urgent email begging people to get signatures from profs and forward the message on to “every email list you have access to”.

CUSU’s alternative plan for bursaries against that of the Working Group model.

The English Fac took up the mission last night, sending its own email to all ‘Englings’ encouraging them to approach “your DoS, a supervisor, or a lecturer” to get as many signatures as possible, and some colleges have had similar emails since then.

There is reason for CUSU to be positive – over 200 academics signed a petition in favour of the occupation last term. The uni may even have to back down on plans to raise tuition fees and slash bursaries if enough profs protest.

The bottom of a petition sheet, showing the urgency emphasised in returning the sheet on Wednesday

But the chances of such a uni backtrack appear unlikely at this moment. If CUSU don’t succeed with their protest, then maintenance bursaries will be slashed from a maximum £3,400 each year to £1,625.