V-cs set to lose more than 75% of teaching grant, survey reveals

Cuts to government grants for teaching over the next four years will amount to more than 75 per cent for several institutions, according to a survey of vice-chancellors.

October 27, 2010

A number of university leaders said that if Lord Browne of Madingley’s proposals to remove funding for “non-priority” subjects were pursued, they would be looking at losing between 75 and 95 per cent of teaching funds.

The survey, which was sent to all members of Universities UK by Gareth Thomas, Labour’s new shadow universities minister, reveals that the University of Greenwich could lose 80 per cent of its teaching grant and have to charge annual tuition fees of £7,900 to recover the lost income. The University of Bedfordshire is set to lose at least £21.6 million a year in teaching money, while the London School of Economics confirmed that it may lose almost all its teaching funding, equivalent to about £7.7 million a year.

Mr Thomas, MP for Harrow West, said: “To be cutting teaching budgets by anything from 75 per cent to 100 per cent is an act of quite breathtaking savagery.”

The coalition government’s Comprehensive Spending Review last week revealed that the overall higher education budget is being cut by 40 per cent – or £2.9 billion.

However, as student grant support forms a large part of the budget and is due to rise, teaching funding is likely to account for almost all of the reduction, meaning it will take a cut of nearer 75 per cent.

Meanwhile, Andrew Hamilton, vice-chancellor of the University of Oxford, has used his Michaelmas term message to warn that the combination of Browne and the CSR could leave the institution worse off.

Pointing out that the current cost of educating an Oxford undergraduate is £16,000 a year, he says the proposals “do little to significantly narrow the gap [between the cost of teaching and the funding provided] and, in some variations, actually increase it”. The message is posted on Oxford’s website.


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