Students want Vice Chancellor who ‘doesn’t value national security’, says SU

But the survey was clearly flawed

Students at the University of Sussex want a new Vice-Chancellor who doesn’t value national security, according to research by the Students’ Union.

Controversial figure Michael Farthing is stepping down next year and students were asked which values they would like to see held by a new Vice-Chancellor as part of a consultation held in December.

The SU provided a “value map” and told students to stick two green stickers by the values they favour and red stickers on ones they don’t.

National security was not a popular value, receiving 100% red stickers.

Only nine students chose to spend one of their two red stickers on “downvoting” national security, versus 73 who chose to place theirs by the words “self indulgent”.

Students were also asked whether they want a Vice-Chancellor who values “enjoying life”.

The survey revealed that students want a Vice-Chancellor who values the following: social justice, equality, creativity, ambition, protecting the environment, intelligence, responsibility and helpfulness.

The Students’ Union helpfully (and creatively) translates this as someone who will not follow “the growing trend towards the marketisation of higher education and privatisation of University services”.

The Students’ Union comment that the results reflect their own values,  which is hardly surprising given the unrepresentative nature of their research.

You can read the Students’ Union’s full report and “methodology” here.

But many feel the results are unrepresentative as the survey only included responses from around 300 students out of a total student population of around 13,500 – just 2.5 per cent of students.

A new VC will be chosen through a recruitment process managed by executive search firm Perrett Laver later this year.