Tuesday, 14 December 2010

We receive a message of support!

Message of Support from the Department of International Politics

The undersigned staff and postgraduate researchers in the Department of International Politics at Aberystwyth fully support the students in their peaceful protests against cuts in public funding for Further and Higher Education as well as the planned rise of the cap in tuition fees to up to £9,000 per annum. This is a further erosion of the culture of higher education and the values of academia.
We call on the University Council to express opposition to the current government’s destructive agenda for higher education. We disapprove and condemn the proposals on the part of the government, which remove funding for social science, arts and humanities subjects and the removal of Educational Maintenance Awards for post-16s in England. We are deeply concerned by the increasingly market-driven rhetoric and practices that are leading to the total commodification of the higher education sector transforming students into consumers and academics into narrowly conceived service providers. Besides being in total opposition to the values of academia, they are neither economically nor politically progressive. These changes, which in effect make the university into a privately-funded institution, will make the functioning and reputation of this world-class university increasingly difficult and will in-debt students for years to come.
Several of the students in the occupation are an integral part of the research and teaching provisions of the Department, and represent the future of social science and humanities. Their passion and commitment in staging this occupation reflects the values of our academic discipline. Therefore, we call on the University Council to engage with the occupying students and their demands (demands for financial transparency and assurances that there will be no closures or mergers of departments, redundancies or reductions in staff numbers as a consequence of natural wastage, and no curtailment of the university facilities as a consequence of funding cuts) in a manner that reflects our values as an academic and educational community, values of mutual respect, debate, dialogue, and open and accessible public communication. Dealing effectively and openly with the student demands will ensure that the University is seen to be acting in the public interest and is taking responsible and just measures in dealing with student satisfaction and concerns.

We will do whatever we can to be of assistance in achieving this outcome.

Professor Richard Jackson
Dr Simona Rentea
Dr Kamila Stullerova
Anja Gebel
Dr Simona Davidescu
Andreja Zevnik
Megan Daigle
Andrew Hom
Dr Jenny Mathers
Professor Ken Booth
Dr Marie Breen Smyth
Ross Bellaby
Katja Daniels
Gillian McFayden
Charlie Thame
Damien Van Puyvelde
Aoileann Ni Mhurchu
Dr Carl Death
Charlotte Heath-Kelly
Sonja Kittelsen
Dr Milja Kurki
Dr Andrew Priest
Dr Ayla Gol
Gwenan Creunant
Hannah Hughes
Clare Paine
Dr Thanos Zartaloudis

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