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Union calls for urgent review of higher education funding as university chief warns of £4.2bn cuts

15 October 2010 | last updated: 11 December 2015

UCU today called for an urgent review of higher education funding after the head of Universities UUK, Steve Smith, warned that universities could face a £4.2billion cut in teaching and research grants in the forthcoming spending review.

In an e-mail to university heads, seen by the BBC, Steve Smith said that the Browne review had confirmed his 'worse fears' and that the sector faces a 'valley of death', with some institutions likely to face closure, if budgets are slashed next Wednesday.
 
The Browne Review recommended that the university teaching budget be cut by 80% and Steve Smith, in his correspondence with university heads, said he is now braced for an additional £1billion cut to research funding.
 
Responding to the leak, the union said that government had failed to carry out a proper assessment of the impact the cuts would have on towns and communities throughout the UK.
 
UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'It is hard to believe that any government could contemplate making £4.2bn cuts to higher education given that it generates massive economic growth. Cuts of this magnitude will leave many cities and towns without a local university and our students paying the highest public fees in the world.
 
'UCU is now calling for an urgent review of the impact of these unimaginable cuts in public investment on local, regional and national provision before the charge into the valley of death talked of by Steve Smith becomes a reality. Every MP with a university in or near their constituency should be clear that these cuts will put their institutions at risk, with those who traditionally have been attended by local people most at risk of closure.'

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