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UCU says government college funding plans are 'assault on most needy'

17 November 2010 | last updated: 11 December 2015

UCU said today that government plans to cut funding for colleges and reduce the number of places and opportunities for students and the low paid was 'another assault on those who most needed help in tough times'.

The union was responding to a strategy document from the department for business, investment and skills, entitled 'Investing in Skills for Sustainable Growth' which says that adult learner and employer responsive funding will be cut in cash terms by 3.3% in 2011-12 and by 3.0% in 2012-13. The union said that in real terms, once you have added in the impact of inflation, the cut will be around 5.2% in 2011-12 and 5.3% in 2012-13, which means a real terms cut of more than 10% by 2012-13.
The paper also announced a cut of 4.3% in funding per student, which will result in fewer college places and the end of help to fund basic skills courses for the lowest paid. Moves the union said made no sense in difficult economic times.
UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'What the government has announced today is little more than another assault on the people who most need help and access to education, particularly in tough times. We need to be doing everything we can to help education and the countless potential students who see it as a vital lifeline to improve skills and their opportunities of finding work.
'The last thing we should be doing is cutting access to education and leaving people with no chance of bettering themselves whilst stuck on the dole or in low paid work.'