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University is about more than money, says UCU

7 February 2007 | last updated: 14 December 2015

UCU has responded to a report published today by Universities UK which sets out the economic benefits to individuals of a higher education qualification.

UCU joint general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'The benefits of higher education are obvious to those who graduate and those who employ them but cannot be simply seen in crude fiscal terms. University can also be about the realising of personal potential, having the space to challenge conventional wisdom and learning to respect others' opinions; all things that contribute to a healthy civil society but cannot be measured in pounds and pence.

'University staff want to teach the most able, not simply the most wealthy students and talk of a 'graduate premium' will do little to encourage those from non-traditional backgrounds.  UK students already pay among the highest student fees in Western Europe and vice-chancellors are now lobbying for a further massive increase. The whole country benefits from graduates - from doctors and teachers to engineers and scientists and it is government that should be increasing its financial contribution not students.'