#disruptsenate - petition

On March 9th students of this University democratically agreed not to participate in the NUS's national boycott of the NSS. This was not because we don't object to the TEF but because we see the boycott as an ineffective means of disruption. Instead we will be calling on the leaders of the University to act, and use their significant influence to make sure that they secure the best deal for students now and in the future.

Please sign the below petition to show the Vice-Chancellor and his team that students at this University still care about the changes to higher education.

This letter and these signatures will then be delivered by a group of students to the Vice-Chancellor at the next meeting of Senate - the University's highest academic committee - and we will be meeting in front of LUU at 13:00 on Wednesday 22nd March. Join us there to hear more about the changes to Higher Education, why we oppose them and help us deliver this message. We want as many students there as possible to #disruptsenate.

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Dear Sir Alan, Members of University Senate, and Members of University Council,

On March 9th the student body formally made a collective decision not to participate in the NUS’s campaign to boycott the National Student Survey (NSS) in the hope of disrupting the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). Much of the reason for doing so lay in our belief that the power to act and make change in the Higher Education landscape lies not in a boycott that has a number of limitations but in the lobbying power of Vice Chancellors and Universities. We do not want to wait until the Higher Education & Research (HE) Bill becomes an Act of Parliament. We can't rely on undermining metrics, which can easily be replaced, for us, the Students of Leeds, to have our voices heard in this conversation. This work follows on from the Joint Statement signed by the Vice Chancellor and members of the Student Exec which affirms our collective discontent with a number of elements of the HE Bill. We want to continue this public show of shared opposition to the Government.

We are fundamentally opposed to the TEF on the following grounds
• None of the proposed metrics are a reliable measure of actual teaching quality.
• It is a means of raising tuition fees by stealth and LUU remain committed to free education.
• The marketisation of higher education undermines freedom of thought on our campuses.
• Increasing the costs of higher education unduly and disproportionately effects students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
• The context of the UK’s exit from the European Union places an additional imperative to resist all changes that make our institution more exclusive as we seek to retain the best minds in our academic structures.

The students of the University of Leeds believe that our University leadership has a responsibility to speak up on issues that will negatively affect both current and future students at Leeds. We would recognise the valuable contribution already made by our Chancellor, Lord Bragg, to the debates on the HE Bill in the House of Lords. It is in this spirit that we call on you to extend your efforts to resist the implementation of the TEF in its current form and the wholesale and damaging changes to higher education that it stands for. The Minister for Universities and Science has proven himself unwilling to listen to student voices and disinclined to act with the sector’s best interests at heart.

You and your fellow university leaders here and around the country hold a position of privilege and influence which might be used both directly and indirectly through governmental consultations and other conversations and deliberations.

Please continue to act.

Yours sincerely,

The Undersigned

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