They don't want it either: Oxford students condemn their own vice chancellor for talk of £16,000 tuition fees

Professor Andrew Hamilton comes in for heavy criticism from 23 JCR presidents

Oxford students have hit out at their vice-chancellor, after he said he wanted to hike tuition fees to as much as £16,000 per year.

In a strongly worded letter, JCR presidents from 23 of Oxford’s undergraduate colleges told Professor Andrew Hamilton that he had “failed them”.

“We note with disappointment that the vice-chancellor has used this opportunity to shift the focus of the debate towards increasing student fees instead of lobbying for further funding from Government,” they wrote, “and we view this as a serious failure in his duty towards current and future students and Oxford University’s opportunity to attract the most able students disregarding their financial background.”

Read more: The £16,000 "Oxford price-tag" will cement the university as a bastion of privilege

The signatories, each representing college populations of up to 400 undergraduates, were also concerned that the proposed fees hike could affect admissions.

“Oxford now has, from a low starting point, a lot of excellent work in access and outreach and a very impressive student financial support programme. All this good work would be sabotaged by a near-doubling of the tuition fee... we urge the vice-chancellor to reconsider his new view and to consult with students and with those working in access and outreach on the consequences of such a course of action,” they wrote.

In an oration given a few weeks ago, Prof Hamilton had argued that university fees should reflect the services being offered, and that the current £9,000 cap left “a chasm” of more than £70 million a year “that Oxford has to plug”.

“What matters surely is that an institution’s charges are clearly aligned with what it offers and that they are demonstrably not a barrier to student access,” he said.

His comments sparked an angry reaction from students and academics alike, with Oxford’s senior SU president Tom Rutland branding them “unthinkable”.

“I'm really pleased to see our JCR presidents have shown real leadership on this issue on behalf of their members and future students - it's so important to stand up for publicly funded higher education and to stop the raid on students' wallets,” Mr Rutland told The Independent.

It is not the only crisis facing the university this year. Earlier this month dons vowed to strike over pay, working conditions and “zero-hour” contracts. It is understood they will begin the strike on Halloween, walking out of lectures and tutorials. 

Life and Style
A teenager boy wakes up.
life
Life and Style
It is believed that historically rising rates of alcohol consumption have contributed to the increase
food + drink
Voices
The erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has already been blamed for a rise in the number of callouts to the fire brigade for people trapped in handcuffs
voicesJustine Elyot: Since Fifty Shades there's no need to be secretive about it — everyone's at it
Arts and Entertainment
Critics say Kipling showed loathing for India's primitive villagers in The Jungle Book
filmChristopher Walken, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Playing to win: for Tanith Carey, pictured with Lily, right, and Clio, even simple games had to have an educational purpose
lifeTanith Carey explains what made her take her foot off the gas
Arts and Entertainment
The White Sails Hospital and Spa is to be built in the new Tunisia Economic City.
architectureRussian billionaire designs boat-shaped hospital for new Dubai-style Tunisia Economic City
Arts and Entertainment
You could be in the Glastonbury crowd next summer if you follow our tips for bagging tickets this week
music
Sport
Husain Abdullah returns an interception off Tom Brady for a touchdown
nflLeague has rules against 'sliding to ground on knees'
Life and Style
tech
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
food + drink
News
i100
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Kylie performs during her Kiss Me Once tour
musicReview: 26 years on from her first single, the pop princess tries just a bit too hard at London's O2
Arts and Entertainment
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Data Analyst / Marketing Database Analyst

£24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

Science Teacher

£100 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Group: Science Supply Teacher position...

Music, Drama & Performing Arts Technician

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Experienced Music, Drama ...

Primary Teacher Plymouth

£23500 - £40000 per annum: Randstad Education Plymouth: ***KS1 & KS2 Teach...

Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style