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NUS responds to Jo Johnson's speech at Universities UK

Thursday 7 September 2017

At Universities' UK conference earlier today, Universities' Minister Jo Johnson announced changes to the metrics used in the Teaching Excellence Framework. He also announced a crackdown on Vice Chancellor pay. Responding to today's announcements.

Responding to the speech, NUS Vice President for Higher Education Amatey Doku said:

"Scrutiny over Vice Chancellor’s pay will not solve the fundamental problems with the education funding system, but we would welcome a more equitable pay ratio within institutions. Transparency for pay over £150,000 only scratches the surface: we would like to see ratios between highest and lowest paid staff as well as gender and race pay ratios being published. It is absolutely vital that there is a strong student voice at the heart of remuneration committees, and that any money saved through cuts to VC pay is channelled into student bursaries and widening participation, where it is so desperately needed. 

"We need to be careful that VC pay does not become a distraction from other vitally important debates around university funding: maintenance support, tuition fees and student debt are all pressing issues that are having a huge impact on students and need to be properly tackled through changes to the education funding system.

"I am pleased to see that the the Minister has responded to student concerns around the NSS. Halving the weighting of NSS data in assessing teaching excellence is not a solution to the TEF's problems, but this change does show student-led campaigning being recognised by the government. We maintain that any value the TEF may have as a means of promoting teaching excellence is completely undermined by its link with fee rises. We look forward to feeding in to the upcoming consultation on the Teaching Excellence Framework and will continue to campaign for any link between the TEF and fees to be scrapped."