YOUR article on university governance (“Anger as new laws passed on how our universities are run”, The Herald, March 9) might give the impression that these long-overdue changes to governance are unwelcome. Far from it. For those who work in the universities – the campus trade unions, the students’ associations, in short, for the heart of the university community, nothing could be further from the truth.

The Scottish Government and indeed the Labour Party and Greens in Holyrood, who have consulted widely with all stakeholders on these issues, are to be praised for listening to, and acting on, the concerns of the Scottish university community to redress the evident failings in governance that were identified. The elections by staff and students of chairs of court, representation of trade unions on the courts, and the expansion of academic freedom is all to be welcomed.

In passing these measures, Scotland has shown itself in advance of our colleagues south of the Border and in the rest of the UK where I am sure we will undoubtedly see pressure to follow this best practice now to be adopted in Scotland’s higher education sector.

It is to be regretted that the university management in Scotland and representatives of the university courts have shown themselves to be out of touch with public and political opinion on this matter. I would certainly hope now that they work closely with staff and students, to ensure the success of these new measures.

Dr Douglas Chalmers,

President, University and College Union, Scotland,

Ingram House, 227 Ingram Street, Glasgow.