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UCU responds to pre-budget report

6 December 2006 | last updated: 14 December 2015

Responding to today's pre-budget report, UCU welcomed investment in education, but warned more needed to be done if the UK was to maintain its position as a global leader in educational provision.

UCU also raised concerns about the uncertainty of funding arrangements for the expansion of training.

UCU joint general secretary, Sally Hunt, warned that the UK risked falling behind other economies unless more attention was paid to the crisis in science in our universities. She said: 'We welcome the news that there will be serious investment in schools to modernise and build infrastructure and that £60m a year will be directed towards applied research. However we need a new generation of scientists to continue the UK's proud research record. In the past decade we have seen a 10 per cent cut in science degrees at our universities.

'We must have a joined up approach to education across the board to ensure that students are able to realise their full potential and that our economy benefits from talented graduates in all areas. Competing economies around the world are investing in sciences in their universities, we must do the same.'

UCU joint general secretary, Paul Mackney, expressed concern about uncertainty in the funding arrangements for the expansion of training. He said: 'Colleges transform lives and help to improve people's chances of employment. We support the expansion of work-based training but this should not be at the expense of colleges' budgets. If there is to be stability in further education, employers have an obligation to think through their projected training needs so that colleges can continue to provide high quality courses.'