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Response to HEFCE report showing student demand lower than expected this year

5 November 2012

Responding to HEFCE's report* highlighting that student enrolments are down more than forecast for 2012/13, UCU warned a trio of government policies have created financial instability at a time when universities should be playing a key role in reviving the economy.

UCU General Secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'There is real concern among staff about the substantial drop in student numbers this year and the knock-on effect on universities' financial stability.
'The government's decision to introduce an internal market based on A-level grades at the same time as introducing much higher tuition fees have contributed to falling numbers, and some institutions will struggle to deal with the resulting shortfall in their finances.
'Those two policies were then compounded by the decision to revoke London Metropolitan University's licence to enrol non EU students, which many university staff fear will deter others from coming to study in Britain in years to come.
'At a time when UK universities really need financial stability to contribute to the revival of the economy, they find themselves facing uncertainty because of a trio of ill-thought out policies.'

* 'Financial health of the higher education sector: 2011-12 to 2014-15 forecasts', HEFCE

Last updated: 11 December 2015