Toope meets with students to discuss the University's future

Image credit: Cambridge University Students' Union

The Cambridge University Vice Chancellor, Stephen Toope, met with student leaders on Wednesday to discuss policy making at the highest level in an event organised by CUSU and the Graduate Union.

In the discussion, chaired by CUSU President Daisy Eyre, the Vice Chancellor addressed college representatives, members of liberation campaign teams and elected students’ union officers, as well as hearing their ideas on the future of the university.

Toope’s opening speech stressed the importance of openness and “joining up”, referring to inclusivity, inter-disciplinary projects and collaborative efforts to tackle issues such as mental health. Students then had an opportunity to share their own opinions, focusing particularly on subjects like the decolonisation of the curriculum and the experiences of minority students.

Students also gave feedback on post-it notes – which will be collected and communicated to the Vice Chancellor – in response to broad questions such as "if you could implement one policy at Cambridge, what would it be?"

In a message on the CUSU website, Eyre emphasised the large of both students in attendance and topics raised, describing students’ ideas as "inspiring, creative and wide-ranging".  She also expressed hope that the ‘productive’ discussion will not be the last one of its kind: "the University only exists because of students, and our voices are so important".

Wednesday’s meeting was Toope’s second consultation with a significant number of students, after he held an open meeting with over 500 students and staff at the end of Lent term. It was also his first since the suspension of the UCU strike action that has dominated university issues since February.

The event was just one part of a new scheme to increase communication between CUSU and the University, which also includes the Senior Tutors’ Bulletin and the CUSU-GU Report to Council.


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