Autumn statement - more students welcome, but government needs a sustainable long-term strategy say UCU

5 December 2013

UCU responded to today's announcement by George Osborne that the cap on student numbers in English universities would be lifted by questioning the way the extra places will be funded.

The union warned that using the sale of the student loan book to fund more student places, while encouraging more students to take on debt through a loan scheme that's widely recognised to entail huge public costs, looked like an unsustainable, short-term fix designed to create good headlines.

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said:

'Using the proceeds from the privatisation of student loans to pay for extra student places is a classic example of robbing Peter to pay Paul.

'While expanding student numbers is vital to our country's social and economic future, what universities need is a long-term, sustainable plan built on the kind of public investment that our global rivals take for granted.'

Last updated: 10 December 2015