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UCU comment on IFS education funding report

17 September 2018 | last updated: 18 September 2018

Responding to a new report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the UCU said the report showed the urgent need for extra funding for further education and exposed the failings of the current university funding system.

Commenting on the news that further education funding has been cut more sharply than funding for schools, UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said:

'Severe cuts to further education funding have led to job losses, course closures and fewer learning opportunities. Staff have seen their pay fall by 25% since 2009, and many colleges are struggling to recruit the expert staff they need.

'The situation is completely unsustainable. If the government really wants to ensure that everyone can access the skills they need to get on in life, it must urgently invest in further education institutions and their staff.'

Commenting on the report's finding that reforms to higher education funding have increased university resources, but made little difference to the long-run cost to the public purse, Sally Hunt said:

'The time has come for an urgent overhaul of how our universities are funded and who foots the bill. Students are now racking up massive debt through loans to cover their fees and living costs, but the changes have done little to ease the real burden on the public purse. The government has to look properly at a system that ensures business pays its way by reversing cuts to corporation tax and ring-fencing the money for universities.'