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Stop 'digging yourself into a hole' over university funding, lecturers tell Clegg

22 October 2010 | last updated: 11 December 2015

UCU today accused Nick Clegg of trying to spin his way out of trouble over university funding.

Responding to claims by the deputy prime minister in today's Guardian newspaper, that his personal intervention ensured that university funding was only cut by 40% in this week's spending review, the union said that with 'friends like him the higher education sector doesn't need any enemies'.
 
Universities are facing cuts of £2.9 billion over the next four years and UCU said the Liberal Democrat leader risked being remembered as the man who turned his back on universities, students and their families.
 
In the run up to the election Nick Clegg said a hike in fees would be a disaster and pledged to vote against raising them, but in a complete U-turn last week he endorsed the Browne review which recommended raising fees to over £6,000 and slashing teaching budgets by over 75%.
 
UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'Nick Clegg's supposed intervention has left universities facing massive cuts and left students having to pay the highest public university fees in the world. With friends like Nick Clegg in government the higher education sector could be forgiven for thinking that it doesn't need any enemies.
 
'This is a feeble attempt by the deputy prime minister to try and extricate himself from the controversy of going back on his pledge over tuition fees. Voters are not stupid and will see straight through this. My message to Nick Clegg is simple. Stop digging yourself into an even bigger hole or you will be remembered as the man who turned his back on universities, students and their families.'

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