As they sink slowly down the international rankings our local universities seem to have increasing problems with their student unions. This is suspicious.
I had better declare a sort of interest here. Many years ago when I was the head of a department in a local university it became known that I planned to appoint a particular person as a teacher. One of my colleagues came into my office looking very worried. “Did you realise,” he asked, “that she used to be a student union president.”
“Yes, I know she was a student union president,” I replied, “and so was I.” Which sorted out that objection easily enough.
So it is not surprising, perhaps, that I think universities ought to have student unions, should try – I realise this will not always be easy – to be on good terms with them, and should recognise that students have the right to a collective voice in decisions that affect them.