Two blogs in the space of two weeks must be some kind of record. This time last week I was sitting in group at Slimming World with very little signal as the news was filtering through that the House of Lords rejected plans to link the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) to increased tuition fees. Education Officers around the country rejoiced, thanks to the hard work of NUS, particularly Sorana Vieru, UCU and elected officers whose relentless campaigning put pressure on the Lords to make this decision. For an evening, I was developing an appreciation of healthy food and a new found sense of belief in the student movement.
A week on, I reflect upon the cakes, bread, and lentils I have eaten this week as the prospect of Slimming World looms again. I also reflect upon the impact the Lords' decision could have upon Higher Education and students. Although the lords have recommended that TEF will not be linked to tuition fees; this is not the time for complacency. The House of Lords and House of Commons will debate the amendments before a final decision is made. As elected officers and students we need to remain cautious about increased tuition fees. The government and Universities may no longer be able to use the TEF as an excuse to increase tuition fees but the fight is not over.
I have a feeling Jo Johnson will be sighting the cult hit Tubthumping by Chumbawamba. They've been knocked down but they'll be getting back up again. Questions remain about the authenticity of the TEF and what will happen when it is broken down to subject level and include Postgraduate students as well. I for one will not be sleeping easily until there is some form of clarification about what the government wants to do with tuition fees now the Lords have made this recommendation.