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Universities UK response to government release on financial sustainability of universities

​Universities UK has responded to comments made today (25 May 2019) by Education Secretary Damian Hinds on university finances and challenges currently facing the sector.

Alistair Jarvis, Chief Executive of Universities UK, said: “It is good to see the Education Secretary highlighting the importance of a financially sustainable university system for students, staff and local economies. Under this government an overly restrictive visa regime has damaged international student recruitment, teaching funding has not kept pace with inflation, the Treasury has hiked up pension contributions for many universities and the sector is braced for further funding challenges linked to Brexit.

“If Theresa May’s review of post-18 education recommends a cut in tuition fees, the funding gap must be made up in full by a government teaching grant. A funding cut for universities would be a political choice which harms students, the economy and communities that benefit from universities. Funding cuts could lead to bigger class sizes, poorer facilities, labs and libraries, a worsening student experience, job cuts and less money to support access and retention. It could damage research, reduce the number of highly-skilled employees that business needs and harm our international competitiveness.”


Notes

  1. The fees change in England in 2012 put university funding for teaching back on a more sustainable footing, reversing many years of cuts. The increase in the fee cap in England was largely a replacement for cuts in direct government funding, including the removal of significant capital investment.

  2. UUK’s briefing on the review of post-18 education and funding can be found here

  3. Universities UK is the collective voice of 136 universities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Its mission is to create the conditions for UK universities to be the best in the world; maximising their positive impact locally, nationally and globally. Universities UK acts on behalf of universities, represented by their heads of institution. Visit: www.universitiesuk.ac.uk

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