Willetts, you were warned

August 11, 2011

The University and College Union and student leaders have warned from the outset that tripling tuition fees would deter people, especially those from poorer backgrounds, from applying to university ("Sector braces for fall in numbers", 4 August).

This government's untested university funding plans are a recipe for disaster and will lead to people making important life choices on the basis of their ability to pay rather than their ability to learn.

Erecting punitive financial barriers is not the way to attract the best and the brightest and is bad for the health of the academic sector.

It does not take a genius to work out that if 2 per cent less people apply to university, this will lead to significant funding gaps for institutions at a time when teaching budgets have been slashed by 80 per cent. This highlights the folly of making university finance dependent on students while simultaneously raising the cost of study.

Unless the government heeds these warnings and changes tack, the UK's ability to compete as a major player in the global knowledge economy will be severely compromised.

Terry Hoad, President, University and College Union

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

Monster behind man at desk

Despite all that’s been done to improve doctoral study, horror stories keep coming. Here three students relate PhD nightmares while two academics advise on how to ensure a successful supervision

Sir Christopher Snowden, former Universities UK president, attacks ratings in wake of Southampton’s bronze award

opinion illustration

Eliminating cheating services, even if it were possible, would do nothing to address students’ and universities’ lack of interest in learning, says Stuart Macdonald

Female professor

New data show proportion of professors who are women has declined at some institutions

Reflection of man in cracked mirror

To defend the values of reason from political attack we need to be more discriminating about the claims made in its name, says John Hendry