Skip to main content

To: Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Rescind Knighthood of Sir Nigel Thrift

This campaign has ended.

Rescind Knighthood of Sir Nigel Thrift

We call upon the Prime Minister to refer the case of Sir Nigel Thrift to the Honours Forfeiture Committee, with a view to rescinding Prof. Thrift's 2015 knighthood.

Why is this important?

Prof Thrift, vice chancellor of the University of Warwick, will be knighted by the Queen in 2015 on the basis of his "services to higher education". This is an insult to both the staff and students of the university who have been the victims of Thrift's profit-centric, self-serving governance over the last 8 years.

Under Thrift's "leadership", staff remuneration has decreased in real-terms, whilst over the same period Thrift has, in effect, awarded himself a 27% increase in salary (not to mention expenses). The Warwick Remuneration Committee, the managerial body that awarded Nigel Thrift his increase, is constituted of 4 members: 2 are currently active in the private sector, and 1 is Nigel Thrift himself.

Many staff on campus are employed on a casual, part-time basis with no job security. 40% of postgraduates who teach at the University of Warwick do not receive a formal contract. Spending on teaching and research as a percentage of income has decreased from 55.4% in the financial year ending 31st July 2009 to 51.7% at the end of 2012.

The University of Warwick, as a Russell Group member, has not opposed lobbying to remove the cap on tuition fees. Indeed, Thrift has personally voiced support for such a move. Warwick's intake from “low participation” areas was 5% in 2012, significantly below the national average of 10.2%.

Out of the 30 people who have access to University council meetings (of which 27 are members and 3 are attendees) 13 have corporate backgrounds, 11 are academics, 5 are public figures and 2 are students. This means that the largest single group with a say in the highest decision making body in the university are (or have been) heavily involved in the private sector.

A university vice chancellor, as a leadership figurehead, is required to have the support of the members of the university and to represent their interests effectively on the world stage. Prof. Thrift does not have the backing of the students nor staff of the University of Warwick and cannot fulfil this fundamental obligation to the members of the university. His knighthood for "services to higher education" should be rescinded.

Further details can be found at:

UPDATE 15/01:
Thank you to everybody for taking the time to support this campaign. The media are beginning to catch up!

University of Warwick, Coventry

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL


Reasons for signing

  • I go to the University of Warwick, this year during a peaceful sit-in protest against the rise in Tuition fees held by students 'Sir' Thrift called for a Riot Police response, leaving some students hospitalised, and completely quelling any further on-campus political action.
  • Nigel thrift is quite simply a danger to everything valuable about British higher education
  • This beggars belief. Clearly this nomination and endorsement came from someone who has no knowledge whatsoever of the travesties and vindictive behaviour that has taken place in Warwick. Have a look at all the fantastic people who have resigned under Thrift and ask yourself why. Warwick's loss has been the gain of other universities however. This knighthood makes a mockery of the whole system, as does his continuing appointment in higher education.


2015-01-15 21:22:56 +0000

500 signatures reached

2015-01-02 22:40:26 +0000

100 signatures reached

2014-12-31 17:46:07 +0000

50 signatures reached

2014-12-31 13:53:40 +0000

25 signatures reached

2014-12-31 13:00:52 +0000

10 signatures reached