At 1pm today, Friday 6th Febuary, Warwick Students Union announced that its members have voted to express no confidence in their Vice Chancellor Sir Nigel Thrift. The motion passed with a 70% majority.
The historic no confidence motion cites pay inequality, the violent response to a student sit in on December the 3rd 2014, staff redundancies, and the suspension of academic Thomas Docherty as reasons for a loss of confidence.
The vote comes in the 50th anniversary of the university’s founding, and shortly after Nigel Thrift was knighted in the New Year’s Honours list for “Services to Higher Education”.
Students debated the motion at their All Student Meeting on Monday 2nd and voted online over the intervening period.
Miguel Costa Matos, Proposer of the motion and 3rd year politics student, said: “This is a historic vote, which shows that despite his knighthood, Nigel Thrift has lost the confidence of those he is meant to support.”
“Something has gone seriously wrong when students find themselves in opposition to university management. In a functional education system, a university would be run in the interests of students and staff, rather than against them. Unfortunately, Nigel Thrift is evidence that this is not the case.”
Hope Worsdale, 2nd year maths student, said: “This is not a unique situation. Across Higher Education, students and staff are deeply dissatisfied with the way they are being treated.”
“We need to contest the idea that universities are businesses which should be run by technocrats in the interests of corporations. We need education run in the interests of everyone, and ultimately that means Free Education.”
Press Release on the All Student Meeting
Dec 3rd protest
December 4th demonstration and 4th-12th Occupation
Thomas Docherty suspension
Medical School redundancies
Nigel Thrift Knighthood