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University cuts could result in fewer graduate job hunters

Published: Wednesday, 22 December 2010   Category: All Graduate job news

The coalition government's latest plans to cut university funding by around £680 million could undermine the UK's position on the world stage and result in fewer people competing for graduate vacancies, the UCU lecturers' union has warned.

Sally Hunt, general secretary of the UCU, said that the government had issued a Christmas message of "funding cuts, higher fees, fewer university places, a pay freeze and attacks on staff pensions".

She described the latest cuts as a "kick in the teeth" and pointed out that most countries around the world are increasing their spending on higher education at the moment.

"Put bluntly, by cutting funding and access to university, attacking staff pay and conditions and charging students record fees, we are going to be left behind," she warned.

The new cuts to teaching grants will come into effect a year before universities are able to raise their tuition fees, which means that they will face a significant funding gap in the meantime.

Wendy Piatt, director-general of the Russell Group of research-led universities, told the Financial Times that the move would make it "even more difficult for ... universities to provide a first-rate student experience on a par with that provided by much better resourced universities in other countries".

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