The BBC has breaking news that the government's Comprehensive Spending Review will seek to cut £4,2000,000,000 from higher education in England.
This cut will amount to a reduction of £3,200,000,000 in the block teaching grant. Teaching currently received £3.9 billion in funding, but may receive just £700 million from 2012. This is a 79% cut.
In addition, there will be a reduction of £1,000,000,000 in research funding.
The BBC reports that these cuts are about four times worse than expected.
The worry now is that universities look set to lose significant funding streams which will need to be replaced, and likely replaced by much higher student fees. MPs may now act to amend recommendations on lifting the fees cap to reassure voters on the costs students will pay, but this may create real funding problems for some universities. Needless to say, it will be very interesting to see how things develop.