Row over where axe may fall in education highlights need for better defence

16 January 2014 | last updated: 10 December 2015

UCU said today that the further and higher education sectors needed to work much more effectively together to promote the benefits of education, rather than just lobbying for certain pet projects to avoid funding cuts, valuable though that is.

The union said reports of division at the heart of government over where post-16 budgets might be cut should used by those who support the power of further and higher education to change lives to argue for a rethink from ministers.

UCU said the vested interests of different groups within further and higher education all too often allowed the government to play one group off against another, while the whole of post-16 education faced a crisis.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'With government cuts likely to cause damage to colleges and universities wherever they come, it is time we stood up for education as a whole. The current debate sometime resembles haggling over where in the gallows queue each of us should be.

'Education is of vital importance to our society and economy. Piecemeal cuts will be hugely damaging both to our country and to the life chances of individuals. UCU calls on all those who care about education to lobby for a better deal and resist government attempts to divide and rule.'

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