09 July 2015
Russell Group and Universities UK comment on the 2015 budget
Universities UK and Russell Group have responded to yesterday's Budget announcement.
to the Chancellors Budget speech, Director General of the Russell Group, Dr Wendy
welcome the announcement that from 2017-18 tuition fees will increase in line
with inflation for universities that provide excellent teaching.
Group universities are committed to providing an outstanding student experience
but since 2012 inflation has eaten into the value of funding available. Next
year, £9,000 tuition fees will be worth only £8,200 in 2012 terms and
universities are already having to do more with less. Good teaching and
world-class facilities require proper investment and indexing the fees cap to
inflation is a crucial step towards the long-term sustainability of the UKs
it is vital that appropriate measures are used to judge teaching excellence,
without adding to the regulatory burden on universities or stifling innovation.
We look forward to engaging with the Government and other key stakeholders on
the Teaching Excellence Framework consultation.
Nicola Dandridge, Chief Executive of Universities UK, responded to todays Budget
which included an announcement that maintenance grants for students in England
will be replaced by loans of up to £8,200 (plus London weighting) from 2016-17,
paid back after graduates earn above £21,000. She said: The proposed shift from maintenance grants to loans does not in
itself affect the money students receive for their living costs. It does affect
the amount of money they pay back after they have graduated and are earning
more than £21,000.
The priority for Universities UK will be to ensure that any
changes to the current student funding system in England do not deter students
from poorer backgrounds from applying to university. It is vital also that such
a funding change is properly communicated so that potential students and their
families are fully aware of the financial support available and how the student
loans system works.
With skills, jobs, productivity, education and research high on
the government's agenda, it is clear that universities have an important role
to play in this aim. But they can only do this if they are properly funded.