University of London Union (ULU) Vice President, Daniel Cooper, has reacted to the news of a £1bn ‘black hole’ in university funding.
According to report by the Higher Education Policy Institute (Hepi), the government has seriously underestimated the cost of its changes to higher education, miscalculating the net fee of tuition fees charged by institutions, the average earnings of graduates over the 30-year period of loan repayment and the shortfall in loan recovery.
The ULU VP said:
“On first impressions it seems like an almost impressive level of incompetence to force students to pay more for education and yet end up with a funding crisis. The government was warned in 2010 that its calculations were unrealistic and yet it charged ahead with its plans to marketise education.
This shows that the government is motivated by an ideological drive to reshape society in the interests of the rich and big business, no matter what the cost to the rest of us. The funding shortfall will lead to course closures, pressure on staff pay and conditions, and ultimately the transfer of loss-making institutions into private hands where they can be wrenched open to make a quick profit.
Rather than cut student numbers or pump even more out of graduates in the form of higher repayments, ULU will be campaigning for the current unfair, inefficient and unwieldy system of funding to be completely overhauled. We demand a return to universal free education, funded by a progressive tax on the rich and big business.”