7 Things we learnt from the Vice Chancellor’s Q&A with CCCU students

In case you couldn’t make it, we have our live stream and live blog for you to catch up on what’s happened. 

Earlier today (November 1), CCCU students gathered in OG46 (Old Sessions House) to ask their burning questions to CCCU’s vice chancellor, Rama Thirunamachandran.

The vice chancellor holds the most senior role at the university – find out why this event is important for Christ Church students.

CCCU vice chancellor, Rama Thirunamachandran

Here are 7 things we learnt from the Q&A session with the vice chancellor:

Lowering grade boundaries 

You asked: Are you lowering grade boundaries and letting in people who do not reach grade requirements just to get more students?

He said: Instead of focusing on their a-levels, we will look at their potential to succeed and achieve at this university.

Our student growth have not been compromised by lowering our standards.

Students union funding

You asked: Our student union is struggling for finances, what is the university doing to help this?

He said: £1M of the university income goes towards the students’ union – the amount granted is based on ‘per head basis’. £1M is already a ‘reasonable chunk’ considering that the university received a £126M income this year.

He added: The students union could have more funding, but finances are limited. Cost pressures are on all of us but hopefully there will be an upturn in the next few years.

League tables

You asked: CCCU keeps going down in the league tables, what’s being done to address this?

He said: League tables doesn’t compare universities fairly, but we haven’t done as well as we could have. We are committed to investing on student and staff experience by upgrading facilities and buildings.

Quality of student accommodation

You asked: There have been many complaints about how expensive accommodation is and how the quality is disappointing. What is the university doing to improve this?

He said: We have got some way to go when improving our accommodation services and this is something we will continue to work on to make sure our services improve for students. We are not quite there, we aim to make our accommodation the heart of student experience. Not just any accommodation.

Students’ £750 ‘compensation’ 

You asked: Students who were affected by the delay in the opening of the new arts building were paid £750 ‘compensation’, but what about other students who have had to work in building sites and have also been disrupted?

He said: It was not ‘compensation’, it was a good will payment for not keeping the promise that we made – which was to have a brand new arts building for them to use for the start of term. We hope for the disruptions to stop as we hope for the building to open for the next semester.

Students on the remuneration board

You asked: Will there ever be a time where a student will finally sit on the remuneration board (board that decides on executives’ salary).

He said: Will there ever be a time? Maybe, yes. But it is against the university’s articles which will take years to amend.

We have taken someone on who is independent of the board, who will meet with the students, who can then inform staff at the board.


You asked: There have been reports of other universities in the UK being close to bankruptcy. Should we be worried as a smaller university about this risk?

He said: The university has never run a deficit budget, which has allowed us to build up reserves. There has been a tendency in some organisations to borrow and invest in today, and not worry about the future.


You asked: What are the university’s plans to prepare for Brexit?

He said:

Watch it all here:

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Claisse Opulencia

Editor-in-Chief of Unified. Claisse is a third year multimedia journalism student at CCCU. Amnesty Media Award Finalist 2018, IRN Awards Runner-up 2018 and nominated for two SPA Awards 2018.

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