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UCU responds to HEPI report on student number controls

18 September 2014

The government must clearly set out where funding for extra student places will come from as the number controls are lifted, UCU said today.

Speaking in response to a report from the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI), the union said that robust quality controls were also needed stop for-profit companies 'milking the system.'

UCU further warned against a reduction in unit funding per student as a result of the expansion, pointing to recent data from the OECD's Education at a Glance report which showed that the UK already spends less per student than competitor countries.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'This report reminds us that the government has not fully thought through its pledge to lift student number controls.

'While the policy is admirable in its intention to widen access, the government needs to clearly spell out where the extra funding will be found and introduce robust quality controls. Recent concerns about for-profit companies milking the system, while delivering qualifications of questionable value, must be properly addressed.

'Higher education is not something to be piled high and provided on the cheap. Institutions need to be able to plan ahead and secure the staff to welcome extra students. The report's warning that funding per student could fall is particularly concerning after an international report last week highlighted the UK is already well outside the top 10 when it comes to investment by student.'

Last updated: 23 July 2019