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Please support the Open Letter requesting the UK Government to reform the UK Higher Education system and to implement the right to quality education opportunities for all

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    RDA Admin
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    Dear colleagues,
    This excellent article on call for change to university governance structures in Australia might be of interest. Details at  https://theconversation.com/universities-are-not-corporations-600-austra…
    From this article : “Public Australian universities are created by legislation which establishes them as statutory bodies with delegated legislative powers, similar to local councils. While each enabling act varies, universities are generally comprised of all permanent academic members of staff, all students, all graduates and a council.
    University councils are the governing bodies of each university, with a mandate to act on behalf of the university (constituted as above) to enact its legislative mandate (generally speaking, research and tertiary education). In this sense, universities are not commercial corporations, councils are not boards of directors, vice-chancellors arenot CEOs and students arenot customers.”
    There is so much important information and links in this open letter that is very useful for the global academic community.  I want to thank all 600 colleagues who came together to discuss,  write and sign this open letter.  
    VCs are saying that the funding model for Higher Education is broken. Then why are VC’s and senior managers keeping increasing their huge salaries!   https://campusmorningmail.com.au/news/accounting-for-vice-chancellors-sa…
    The rise of cronyism in some UK Universities and Higher Education senior appointments is also very concerning. Details at 
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/feb/11/tory-cronyism-high
    I think seeing the scale of greed and corrupt practices (including the rise of cronyism in some senior management appointments)  happening in some UK universities, it is also time for a call for change to university governance structures in UK universities. Hence I am requesting the UK Government to reform the UK Higher Education system and to implement the right to quality education opportunities for all.
    Having these open discussions are important to share and bring together ideas from all colleagues and help build consensus on the way forward to build a better future for all. 
    Best wishes
    Suchith
    From: Suchith Anand 
    Sent: 02 June 2023 09:09
    Subject: Re: Open Letter requesting the UK Government to reform the UK Higher Education system and to implement the right to quality education opportunities for all
     Dear colleagues,
    Came across this article in the Guardian 
    https://www.theguardian.com/education/2023/may/31/funding-model-for-uk-h… 
    Interestingly there is no mention in this article about the high salaries of VCs and Senior Managers in some UK universities (some salaries are over £300k per year + perks).
    Universities have a social responsibility.There is an urgent need to provide full scholarships (with maintenance grant) for 30 percent of seats in each Russell Group university(the richest and prestigious universities in the UK) for students from economically poor families and first-generation students (first in family to go to university). I request the kind support of all MPs, all major UK Political parties and UK Government for the Right to Quality Education opportunities for All .
    Let us all work together so that we can ensure theright to quality education opportunities for the 4.2 million children currently living in poverty in the UK. This is important for the better future of our country and our future generations.
    Best wishes
    Suchith
    From: Suchith Anand 
    Sent: 21 May 2023 11:53
    Subject: Open Letter requesting the UK Government to reform the UK Higher Education system and to implement the right to quality education opportunities for all
     
    Dear colleagues,
    I came across this article in The Guardian on 21st May 2023
    “The restoration of some form of maintenance grant would help ease the costs of attending university for poorer students, but Labour is waiting until closer to the general election before allocating funds to election pledges.
    Some believe the party’s next manifesto could simply contain a fudge on the issue of university funding, including a pledge to overhaul the current system.”
    Details athttps://www.theguardian.com/education/2023/may/21/labours-top-team-pushe…
    I request you all to kindly share the “Right to Quality Education opportunities for All”  open letter with your colleagues and your MP requesting them to kindly raise this topic with the Government of the United Kingdom and support the Right to Quality Education opportunities for All.  
    Details at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/open-letter-requesting-uk-government-refo…
    The more support that we can get from all MPs and all UK political parties for this,  there is more chance to implement the right to quality education opportunities for all.
    Universities have a social responsibility.There is an urgent need to provide full scholarships (with maintenance grant) for 30 percent of seats in each Russell Group university(the richest and prestigious universities in the UK) for students from economically poor families and first-generation students (first in family to go to university). I request the kind support of all MPs, all major UK Political parties and UK Government for the Right to Quality Education opportunities for All .
    Let us all work together so that we can ensure theright to quality education opportunities for the 4.2 million children currently living in poverty in the UK. This is important for the better future of our country and our future generations.
    Best wishes
    Suchith
    From: Suchith Anand 
    Sent: 29 April 2023 09:49
    Subject: Re: Open Letter requesting the UK Government to reform the UK Higher Education system and implement the right to quality education opportunities for all
     
    Dear colleagues
    I received an email from the Department for Education in response to my open letter. I thank the Department for Education for responding. They have provided some useful information on senior management pay . They have not provided any information on current practices for senior management appointments or my request for scholarships for students from economically poor families and first-generation students (first in family to go to university). So I will send reply to get more information on these topics. 
    I would like to get your ideas and inputs on this so that I can respond to this. Please share your inputs by May 10th, so I can reply.
    Key information that is useful from the correspondence that I received is below for your information.
    ====================================================
    “Universities are autonomous and responsible for the pay of their staff. As such, the Office for Students (OfS), the independent regulator of higher education in England, does not have legal powers to regulate the pay of senior staff in the higher education sector directly. However, they do have a duty to take into account the value for money higher education providers offer for the public money they receive. The OfS publish analysis about senior staff pay at higher education providers. Providers are required to disclose information about senior staff pay data, decision making arrangements and justifications.
    Providers must:
    – share specific information with the OfS.
    – publish specific information in their audited financial statements.
    – take into account the code for senior staff remuneration published by the Committee of University Chairs which can be found at:https://www.universitychairs.ac.uk/higher-education-remuneration-code-2/.
    The latest OfS report on senior staff renumeration in English higher education providers can be found here:https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/media/357ec4eb-b97b-4841-8e05-9aad1…. To note, the analysis covers pay to the heads of higher education providers. It does not include further education or sixth form colleges.”
    ======================================================
    From the email, I understand that it is fully unto the Universities to decide the pay for the senior management staff so there is no Maximum Salary Limit possible. The Office for Students (OfS) does not have legal powers to regulate the pay of senior staff in the higher education sector directly.
    Reading the article from The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/feb/11/tory-cronyism-high…  , how independent is The Office for Students (OfS) ?
    I request you all to kindly share the “Right to Quality Education opportunities for All”  open letter with your colleagues and your MP requesting them to kindly raise this topic with the Government of the United Kingdom and support the Right to Quality Education opportunities for All.  
    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/open-letter-requesting-uk-government-refo
    The more support that we can get from all MPs and all UK political parties for this,  there is more chance to implement the right to quality education opportunities for all.
    Best wishes
    Suchith
    From: Suchith Anand 
    Sent: 18 April 2023 08:43
    Subject: Re: Open Letter requesting the UK Government to reform the UK Higher Education system and implement the right to quality education opportunities for all
     
    Dear colleagues,
    Thank you to all who shared this open letter on “the right to quality education opportunities for all” with your colleagues and your MP requesting them to support the right to quality education opportunities for all. 
    btw came across this article in The Guardian on the rise of cronyism and  ‘chumocracy’ in UK Higher Education senior appointments!
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/feb/11/tory-cronyism-high
    Best wishes
    Suchith
    From: Suchith Anand 
    Sent: 16 April 2023 19:14
    Subject: Open Letter requesting the UK Government to reform the UK Higher Education system and implement the right to quality education opportunities for all
     
    Dear colleagues
    I am very grateful to all colleagues for your support and for sharing ideas and information on how to provide more quality education opportunities for students from economically poor families and first-generation students (first in family to go to university). Thank you to all colleagues who shared their observations and insights on the current state of affairs of the UK Higher Education. It is thanks to your ideas, inputs and support that I am able to write this Open Letter for the Right to Quality Education opportunities for All.
    I request you to kindly share this open letter with your colleagues and your MP requesting them to kindly raise this topic with the Government of the United Kingdom and request the UK Government  to investigate the current state of affairs of the UK Higher Education sector with the aim to end corrupt practices and reform Higher Education in the United Kingdom.
    – Requesting UK Government to investigate the rise of corrupt practices in some UK Higher Education Managements and reform the UK Higher Education system.
    The UK Government should investigate current practices for senior management appointments in the UK universities as well as the senior University managers’ salaries and perks.  I humbly request the UK Government to introduce a Maximum Salary Limit for Vice Chancellors and for all the senior managers of universities in the United Kingdom.
    More details at 
    https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/media/357ec4eb-b97b-4841-8e05-9aad1
     
    https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/cgi-bin/wa-jisc.exe?A2=ind2303&L=CRIT-GEOG-FO
     
    https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/cgi-bin/wa-jisc.exe?A2=ind2304&L=CRIT-GEOG-FO
     
    – Implement the Right to Quality Education opportunities for All
    There were 4.2 million children living in poverty in the UK in 2021-22.That’s 29 per cent of children (This percentage might be higher now due to cost of living crisis in the UK ). Details at https://cpag.org.uk/child-poverty/child-poverty-facts-and-figures
    Extreme child poverty in the UK is a humanitarian and ethical crisis. In educational terms, poverty is a significant disadvantage. The link between poverty and poor educational outcomes and wellbeing in the UK has remained stubbornly and depressingly high despite longstanding policy concern at national, local and jurisdictional levels of government. 
    Child poverty, education and the postcode lottery
    https://www.transformingsociety.co.uk/2020/08/19/child-poverty-education
    House of Commons Library Research Briefing on “Equality of access and outcomes in higher education in England” published 31st January 2023.This briefing paper looks at equality in undergraduate education in England. It summarises the latest data from the Department for Education (DfE), the Office for Students (OfS), and UCAS on access and outcomes before looking at Government policy, the role of the OfS, and the actions and responsibilities of universities.More details at https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-9195/
    Access to quality education opportunities is a human right. There needs to be focused policies at the UK Government level about equitable education with a binding on Universities and the Higher Education Institutes to comply. 
    Universities have a social responsibility. There is an urgent need to provide full scholarships for 30 percent of seats in each Russell Group university (the richest and prestigious universities in the UK) for students from economically poor families and first-generation students (first in family to go to university). I request the kind support of all MPs, all major UK Political parties and UK Government for the Right to Quality Education opportunities for All .
    QUALITY EDUCATION IS A HUMAN RIGHT.
    The Open Letter link athttps://www.linkedin.com/pulse/open-letter-requesting-uk-government-refo…
    Let us all work together so that we can ensure theright to quality education opportunities for the 4.2 million children currently living in poverty in the UK. This is important for the better future of our country and our future generations.
    Best wishes
    Suchith
    Dr Suchith Anand
    Senior Adviser to Governments and International Organisations | Scientist | Board member | Governance | Policy | Consultant in Data Science and Data Ethics | Global Citizen | SDG Volunteer and Advocate
    https://council.science/profile/suchith-anand/
    https://www.rd-alliance.org/users/suchith-anand
    https://ethicaldatainitiative.org
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