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Education cuts could lead to colleges and universities closing, warns union

20 October 2010 | last updated: 11 December 2015

UCU today warned that massive funding cuts to colleges and universities could lead to institutions being forced to close across the country.

Responding to this afternoon's comprehensive spending review, the union said the full extent of the cuts would become clearer in the next few days, but that it was appalled that education maintenance allowances were at risk and funding to help non-English speakers learn the language will be scrapped.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'It is hard to see the rationale behind slashing college and university budgets when they generate massive economic growth for the country and when the alternative is more people on the dole and the state losing out on millions in tax revenues.

'We are appalled to learn that education maintenance allowances are at risk and funding for people who do not speak English is being abolished. The simple message here seems to be 'don't be poor'.

'It was interesting that George Osborne chose to start his CSR by saying that he did not wish to saddle our children with debts the government was not willing to pay. He clearly has not read last week's Browne review of university funding.

'It's no good the chancellor describing universities as the jewel in our economic crown and then following those warm words up with massive cuts. Every MP with a college or university in or near their constituency should be clear that the cuts will put those institutions at risk.'

UCU and the National Union of Students have organised a national demonstration against the cuts in central London on Wednesday 10 November.

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