“The University is not a business and education is not for sale” – Chris Brinks, Vice Chancellor of Newcastle University
Chris Brink, Vice Chancellor of Newcastle University addressed students yesterday at Student Union Council, in response to the direct pressure placed on him by Newcastle students currently occupying the Fine Arts Building.
The Vice Chancellor took this rare opportunity to meet students to reaffirm his commitment the equality within the education system and the importance that education plays not only in our country but also the UK’s position on the world stage. He argued that he was not in a position to condemn the findings of the Browne review or the proposed cuts to higher education which will be voted on in Parliament on the 9th December as the university is not a political organization and cannot be seen to attempt to influence the Parliamentary process.
However, the Vice Chancellor has made an overtly political statement publicly in his latest press release. In this statement he directly references points made at a previous meeting where he said “This will be the only major country in the world where the state is consciously and deliberately disinvesting from higher education” and that “The University is not a business and education is not for sale”. Yet he also states that “It is not inconceivable that the political process may still lead to some compromises” and that “The University accepts that reality, and is confident that it will continue to deliver on the objectives”.
The Vice Chancellor is not only aware of the damage that will be caused to higher education by the cuts, but has also publicly denounced them, yet he continued to support the actions of this government despite his own statements and the voices of the students and lectures who oppose the cuts.