Tuesday, June 22, 2010

British education budget to be slashed by up to 25%

The BBC has the full details here. An excerpt:

"[. . .] Education spending in England could be cut by as much as 25% over the next four years, the Chancellor has said.

But George Osborne said in his Budget statement that he recognised the "particular pressures" on the education system.

Teachers and lecturers also face a two-year pay freeze. [. . .]

[. . .] The Chancellor said all departments would be hit by an average spending cuts of 25%, but that not all departments would experience the same rate of reduction.

The detailed settlements would be set out in the comprehensive spending review in October. [. . .]

[. . .] universities and colleges are already grappling with £1.4bn worth of cuts over the next three years.

University and College Union general secretary Sally Hunt said: "Starving education of funds and making families pay more to access a university education, while authorising billions in tax giveaways to big business would be a disaster for the UK.

"Today's corporation tax cut could have funded university places for all students forced to cough up for university fees." [. . .]."

It is a gloomier than expected picture for education. My best guess is that universities will feel perhaps more than their share, in part, because of the widely expected conclusion of Lord Browne's review to raise university fees for students: this new income would then be expected to make up this shortfall. Thus, all will have to do perhaps much more simply to remain running still. This seems like a real mistake: if the government funded more places for students to attend university, then (a) more students who want to attend university could do so and (b) these students would not count in the unemployment figures.

It will remain to be seen where the up to 25% reduction will come from. Let us hope our vice-chancellors are ready to defend our sector . . .

No comments: