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Martin Paul Eve

Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing at Birkbeck, University of London

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So, it transpires that the Oxford University Students Union have had their freedom of information request rejected on the grounds that it is scheduled to be published. The exact wording reads: "I am therefore satisfied it is in the public's interest to withhold this information until it is published by the Russell Group." This is slightly troubling. Surely the action in the "public's interest" would have been to have made the findings available at the earliest moment (ie. at the point of writing the report, rather than submitting in secrecy) so as to allow transparency and debate on the issue. Quite clearly, this is not what is wanted. What is being actually being achieved here is a political point-scoring exercise in which the results are being withheld until after the election so as to bolster student support for those parties which have pledged to keep or raise tuition fees. Same old, same old.