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Cable wrong to say increased graduate contributions only way to fund UK universities, says UCU

22 September 2010 | last updated: 11 December 2015

UCU today said the business secretary, Vince Cable, was wrong to tell the Liberal Democrat conference that the only way to maintain excellence in UK higher education was to ask graduates to pay more.

The union said that if Mr Cable wanted to find a progressive solution to university funding then he had to look again at ways to ensure all those who benefit from higher education pay their fair share. The union also warned that the general public would not fall for student debt simply being increased and given a new name.
The landmark Dearing report identified the country, the student and business as the beneficiaries of higher education. The country and the student have contributed through state funding and tuition fees, the contribution from business has been negligible.
UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'Vince Cable is wrong to suggest that the only way to maintain excellence in UK higher education is through asking graduates to pay more. We believe all parties and Lord Browne need to seriously look at forcing big business to finally pay its fair share for the numerous benefits it receives from higher education.
'The general public are not stupid and they will judge any new proposals for student funding on whether or not they make it more expensive to get a degree, not what they are called. If the forthcoming Lord Browne review simply puts forward ways to make students or graduates pay more then the review will have no credibility.'