Universities UK has responded to the Labour party announcement today on university tuition fees in England.
Professor Sir Christopher Snowden, President of Universities UK and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Surrey, said: “Cutting the fees cap from £9,000 to £6,000 could create a c£10bn funding gap over the next parliament. Such a shortfall, if not met in full from other sources of public finance, could cause significant damage to the economy, to social mobility, to student choice, and to our universities. For universities, it is a funding question, not a fee question.
“Universities will welcome the assurance that the balance in funding will be made up in full and will welcome the increased support for student living costs. It will go some way to help reassure universities that a future Labour Government would continue to provide a stable funding environment in the next parliament.
“Overall funding levels must be maintained over the long-term to allow universities to continue to deliver a high-quality, world-leading experience for students. This package of policy proposals requires an additional c£3.1bn of new public funding per year for universities. Concerns will remain that, given the many other pressing demands on public funding, the long-term feasibility of such a promise may be difficult. The policy will make it more challenging to secure the increased public investment in other priorities, such as research, innovation, and social mobility.”