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Lecturers welcome Minister's commitment to von Prondzynski review

26 February 2013 | last updated: 10 December 2015

UCU have welcomed comments from Michael Russell, cabinet secretary for education and lifelong learning, that a proposed review of university governance in Scotland should be based on the report from Professor von Prondzynski.

Giving evidence to on the Post-16 Education (Scotland) Bill, Michael Russell MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, made frequent references to the independent review of higher education governance, chaired by Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski, stating that it should be the basis for new governance structures arising from the bill. He also stated that he regretted the lack of inclusion of students and staff representatives in the steering group that is developing the Scottish code of governance but he expected them to implement the von Prondzynski recommendations.

Mr Russell also stated that the legislation was required to compel all universities to widen access for students from deprived backgrounds and on fees for other UK students he regretted that education in the rest of the UK had been "monetarised" forcing him to introduce fees.

UCU Scotland official, Mary Senior, said: "We agree with Michael Russell that the new Scottish code of governance should be based on the review chaired by Professor von Prondzynski and that there should have been representation of staff and students on the group drawing up the code.

'We also agree with the minister that legislation is required to compel universities to do more on widening access. It is vital that staff and students are central to developing agreements that encourage students from all backgrounds to aspire to university.

We are pleased that Mr Russell agrees with us that access to university should not be determined by people's wealth, and we believe that the introduction of a fixed fee for other UK students would have avoided introducing the English system into Scotland.'

Michael Russell MSP was giving evidence to the Education and Culture Committee of the Scottish Parliament