UCU responds to Russell Group education funding report

14 May 2010

UCU today said a report from the Russell Group correctly identified the need for proper funding for universities. However, the union called for more imaginative ways to raise the necessary funds.

The union said that merely seeking to make students pay more added nothing new to the debate on university funding and called for the exploration of new and radical proposals as a review into university funding continued. UCU says its plans for a Business Education Tax (BET) are the first coherent attempts at making business pay its way for the numerous benefits it gets from UK higher education.
The landmark 1997 Dearing report listed the three beneficiaries of higher education as the individual, the state and the employer and said the key was finding a fair way to get all three to pay their share. Since that report fees and top-up fees have been introduced, the state has continued to invest, but the employers' contribution has been negligible.
UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'The future for the UK is, as the Russell Group report correctly identifies, as a high-skilled knowledge economy and that requires proper funding for our universities. We desperately need to overhaul how universities are funded and move away from the idea that the current review of student funding is merely a question of how much student fees go up by.
'Our proposals to get business to contribute are based on fairness. The increase in corporation tax to fund our universities would still leave it lower than the rate when the Conservative Party was last in power.'
Last updated: 11 December 2015