Strike action in higher education

UCU responds to education secretary's comments on university finances

25 May 2019

UCU said lowering the tuition fee cap, without direct investment to plug the funding gap, would have serious implications for universities, but make little or no difference to the vast majority of students.

Responding to comments from the education secretary, who warned against "scaremongering" ahead of a review of education funding due to report next week, UCU highlighted modelling from London Economics that showed how cutting fees to £7,500 a year would reduce higher education funding by around £1.8bn a year.

UCU has called for radical alternatives to be looked at by Philip Augar as part of the review of education funding, including reversing cuts to corporation tax to fund university tuition fees. The union's submission to the Augar Review can be found here.

UCU acting general secretary Paul Cottrell said: 'It is not scaremongering to point out the huge sums of money universities would lose if the government backs a cut in fees and does not plug the gap.

'The prime minister called the funding review because the current system was so politically toxic. However, we have seen nothing that suggests the review is looking at the sort of radical alternatives that would make life easier for students and guarantee funding for our colleges and universities.'

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