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McVicar: ‘UCLan is as good as Oxford or Cambridge’

Posted on - 8th April, 2011 - 10:40am | Author - | Posted in - Business, News

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is as good as Oxford and Cambridge, but the university league tables are skewed due to research funding, according to Vice-Chancellor Malcolm McVicar.

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Talking exclusively to Blog Preston in the wake of the university’s decision to charge £9,000 a year tuition fees, Dr McVicar slammed the government.

“The current generation of students are being punished and I am totally opposed to government policy.

“We are here because of the failure of the banking industry to operate effectively and because of the need of the British government to bail out the banks and that’s a disgrace that is affecting lots of ordinary families.”

McVicar called on the government to pause on the policy and set up a new commission to look at the future of higher education.

“We should pause on this and postpone the fees until 2013. Let’s have a rational look at the future before embarking on this course of action.

“Some institutions in the United States charge incredibly high fees, I don’t want us to go in that direction. I don’t want students to have to pay in such a way for their education as they’re being asked to now.”

The UCLan supremo said it was fair for institutions like UCLan to be compared to others charging the top fee, claiming that league tables such as those in the Times Higher supplement were skewed due to research funding.

“I think the standard of education here is just as good as the standard of education at Oxford or Cambridge. I know there are problems here and there, but I would be happy for what we offer to be compared to any other university.

“If you take research funding out and all the other things that come along with this, you get a totally different league table and universities like UCLan are much closer to the top.”

It is well-known that vice-chancellors receive large pay packets, but McVicar shrugged off any suggestions that he earns too much.

“We run complex organisations. British vice-chancellors are already very badly paid in comparison to their American competitors, I haven’t had a pay rise in three years, I’m totally committed to UCLan.”

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