Meet the man responsible for our ‘financial scoliosis’: Vice-Chancellor, Steve Smith

Forget Nick Clegg, Steve Smith isn’t even sorry for what he’s done

Steve Smith wants Exeter to be in the “Champions League” of universities – and he’s not afraid to pull punches to get us there.

An interview with Times Higher Education revealed a man who is still pretty pleased with himself that he helped tuition fees sky-rocket to £9000.

He may have been accused of performing “the moral equivalent of invading Iraq” by another VC, but he doesn’t seem to mind too much.

The face behind your crippling life-long debt

Described as one of Nick Clegg’s “heavies” during the infamous 2012 rise in student fees, Smith still stands by his actions:

“I honestly think that if I had the time over again I’d do exactly the same thing… What was it Harry Truman said? If you want thanks and love, get a dog.”

Or don’t become one of the men behind the £27,000 of debt we’ll all be drowning in after uni? Just a suggestion Mr Smith.

When asked to justify his fateful actions, he claims that Universities UK (the institution he was President of at the time) simply tried to “limit the damage to the sector, and…I honestly think we did that.”

Being the man behind these ingenious decisions isn’t easy though. Bundle of laughs Sam Smith describes himself as “a data person. I look at trends, I read every report.”

He doesn’t even get time to “put my feet up in front of the telly.” Our hearts bleed for him.

Steve Smith giving a talk to all his beloved fans

Unsurprisingly, it appears that if Smith is looking for others to give him a round of applause and tell him how well he’s done, the university itself is not the place to come.

Sherri Andrew, an English second-year, said “Fortunately for Steve Smith he doesn’t have to pay the extortionate amount of fees that we poor, impoverished students have to contend with.

I can already feel the crippling debt turning into financial scoliosis.”

Zoe, a fourth year Politician, said: “It’s a shame that the man who runs our university stands by his decision, as the fees rising is just another reason why perfectly bright students from lower socio-economic backgrounds would be deterred from higher education, and is only going to keep Exeter a university filled with white, middle class students from the home counties.

“But you never know, maybe that’s what he wants?”

The student riots that Smith was partially responsible for

Rob Newnham, a third year Classicist, was equally unimpressed, saying “Speaking as someone from the first wave of students hit by the price hike, I don’t understand what the purpose was.

“So many lecturers are still striking for acceptable wages, so it’s not going to them.

“And as far as I can tell, the only change made by Exeter has been to make some previously optional employability talks compulsory.

“They weren’t even useful!”

So though Steve Smith may be giving himself a pat on the back and boasting how “extraordinarily well” we’re all doing, he might want to check in with those who are actually going to have to pay back the crippling amount of debt first.