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University funding debate is not a simple choice of fewer students or higher fees, says UCU

25 November 2010 | last updated: 11 December 2015

UCU said today that the debate on how to fund our universities was not simply a question of higher fees or fewer students.

Responding to comments made by the vice-chancellors' lobby group president, Steve Smith, the union said the government had failed to deliver the radical change required to ensure all beneficiaries of higher education pay their way.

'It is insulting of Steve Smith and vice-chancellors to suggest that universities must choose between hiking up fees and restricting student places.'
Sally Hunt

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'It is insulting of Steve Smith and vice-chancellors to suggest that universities must choose between hiking up fees and restricting student places. There are a host of other options that the government has chosen to ignore and it is disappointing that vice-chancellors now appear to be selling the higher fees option as the government plans to decimate university teaching budgets.
 
'The state and students have been forced to foot the bill for higher education for too long. We believe that the other clear beneficiary, business, should finally start contributing for the numerous benefits it receives from graduates and universities. Amazingly, the government is planning to slash corporation tax and deprive the Treasury of £8bn over the next four years. The time has come to consider a fair and progressive plan C.'
 
The union was responding to a speech by Steve Smith at a Universities UK funding debate in London today.

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