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IFS recalled reports 'further embarrassment' for a government losing the student funding argument

17 November 2010 | last updated: 11 December 2015

UCU said today that the government needed to stop trying to spin plans to triple university fees and increase student debt as progressive and fair.

The union's comments came after the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) disowned two reports it published assessing the government's plans for student funding. The government had used the reports to highlight what it believed to be progressive elements of its plans.
In email correspondence seen by the policy newsletter Research Fortnight, the IFS' head of student loan analysis, Professor Lorraine Dearden, states that the two reports are 'not correct.' Dearden says that the IFS 'has now found out that key parameters of what the government is proposing have changed but this has not been made clear in any of their papers.'
UCU said it did not believe the government's plans for university funding were progressive or fair and didn't believe the general public had been fooled either.
UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'We do not think it is progressive or fair to ask the next generation to pay for others' mistakes by tripling the cost of a degree and increasing interest rates on student debt. We don't believe the general public does either.
'Amazingly some in our government seem to think they can spin their way out of election commitments and the mess they are in over university fees. This latest revelation is acutely embarrassing for the government as it used the reports to try and highlight so-called progressive elements of its plans.
'It's time for politicians to recognise that education is an investment in all our futures not a millstone around our necks.'