Britain is on track for the deficit – the gap between government spending and tax receipts – to reach £36 billion by 2021-22. According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, this is more than twice the initial official forecast of £17 billion. This bleak analysis adds to pressure on the chancellor as the economy deteriorates and uncertainty over the future of the UK economy post-Brexit persists. However, in our submission to the Treasury ahead of the budget, Universities UK suggests that universities hold the key to the UK being prepared for the many of the challenges ahead.
Ahead of 22 November, Universities UK will be demonstrating why a budget that will enable the country to increase productivity, boost social mobility and grow its way out of austerity makes sense. Here are four areas the chancellor should consider when he delivers the budget 2017.
There are many benefits for individuals, for the economy and for society from increased numbers of graduates, and the country needs even more. There are shortages of skilled employees in some important industries and professions which the higher education sector can help address. Universities UK is calling on the chancellor to:
Universities play a central role in carrying out world-leading research, in collaborating with cutting-edge businesses, and in nurturing innovative ideas generated by academic research. With the right support and conditions, universities can do more. Universities UK is calling on the chancellor to:
Universities make a significant contribution to regional prosperity, creating jobs, providing highly-skilled graduates for local employers, and attracting investment to all parts of the UK. With more support from government, universities can play an important leadership role in towns, cities and regions and ensure there are highly-skilled graduates wherever they are needed to help industries and businesses flourish. Universities UK is calling on the chancellor to:
The UK has one of the strongest – and most international – university systems in the world. To ensure that UK universities can continue to contribute fully to a globally successful UK there are a number of actions which need to be taken immediately to ensure stability and reduce uncertainty for universities. Universities UK is calling on the chancellor to: