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Union responds to Liberal Democrat pre-manifesto education commitments

8 September 2014

Responding to the Liberal Democrats' pre-manifesto education commitments today, UCU welcomed many of the education proposals, but called on them and all parties to face up to the real challenges around funding and set out where they stand on this vital issue.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt said: 'I welcome today's proposals from the Liberal Democrats in relation to increasing apprenticeships and improving their quality. I am also encouraged by their recognition of the importance of part-time students and plans to improve careers advice.

'However, their proposed review of higher education sounds worryingly like an effort to dodge an issue they have found particularly toxic in recent years. All parties need to set out exactly what their plans are for university fees.

'The Liberal Democrats appear not to be the only party wrangling with the issue of university fees and I hope Ed Miliband clears up where the Labour Party stand when he speaks at the TUC conference tonight.'

In the run up to the general election UCU will be checking all new policy initiatives from the main political parties against its six tests to encourage fairer and more sustainable post-compulsory education systems:

  • Will the proposal make it easier for people to reach their full potential?
  • Will the proposal increase our academic capacity and research base?
  • Will the proposal make the UK a more attractive place for academic staff to work?
  • Will the proposal make it less costly for individuals to study, whether young or old?
  • Will the proposal broaden the range of subjects available for study?
  • Will the proposal lead to higher quality and reduced fragmentation in the sector?
Last updated: 10 December 2015