CCCU’s Vice Chancellor, Rama Thirunamachandran took open questions live from a student audience on campus.
Students had their chance to quiz the Vice Chancellor on topics important to them and they didn’t disappoint with their questions. Here are some things we learnt from the almost two hour long Q&A session.
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Rama Thirunamachandran earned £257,000 last year
You said: Why has your salary increased when CCCU has dropped down the league table?
He replied: His salary is not determined by him. It’s determined by a committee of governing bodies, independent to the university. There are four people on the committee and they review and set salaries. The league table is not the sole determent in deciding his salary.
Mental health services need improving
You said: Students are concerned about how well staffed mental health services at CCCU are, with only two full time councillors and not being able to get appointments when they need them.
He replied: The Vice Chancellor said that there has been an increase in staff over the recent years and there are online resources available such as White Wall which is there 24 hours a day. The service has had a narrow focus in the past but they are looking at making more staff permanent.
Sports teams need more funding
You said: Facilities such as Stodmarsh and Polo Farm are not up to scratch. Things like changing rooms, pitches and water supplies are not up to standard. Memberships are going up and teams are not seeing any of the extra money.
He replied: The university does invest in sports but we also have to think about the arts and culture.
He knows that the facilities are not brilliant but there is no quick fix to the big problems. ‘Stodmarsh is not a long term answer, but at the moment there’s no short term solution.’
— UNIfied (@CCSUUNIfied) October 31, 2017
Students need more help with their accommodation costs
You said: Accommodation is too expensive and does not offer good value for money.
He replied: The university make a loss on their accommodation account and the high price is due to leases that they are tied into, in particularly at Parham Road and Petros court. He said he is happy to look into providing more subsidy and to work with the SU on the matter.
Student numbers are dropping
You said: Is it the SU’s fault that student numbers are dropping or is it your fault?
He replied: Student numbers go up and down. Demographics show that the number of 18-year-olds going to university have been going down since 2010/11. We work hard to promote the university and get student numbers up.
— Claisse Opulencia (@itsclaisse) October 31, 2017
The canteen has no Halal food
You said: Muslim students are not catered for food wise, there is no Halal options in the canteen.
He replied: He doesn’t know the answer to this, but will take this point away and look at the options. We are proud to have students from all over the world and we try to cater for everyone.
Sports needs more exposure for their successes
You said: The university has a massive sports culture, so why aren’t we using this as a way of promoting CCCU to potential students? I didn’t know Christ Church was so big on sports until I got here.
He replied: We promote the university’s sports culture through sports scholarships. He said he will take this point on board and it has been mentioned a number of times, so now we can see how important it is.
See our full live coverage below: