UK public universities become privatized while the banks are state-funded

You have probably seen the images of Prince Charles and Camilla’s car being attacked by a mob during protests at the British government’s decision to increase undergraduate tuition fees to $14,000 a year (£9,000). Although not condoning the violence, the students are right to be angry.

What the government has done is to cut all university budgets by 40%. Even with tuition fees at $14,000 a year, some analysts fear that universities will not be able to balance their budgets, especially if they do not reach their target numbers, as seems inevitable with fees at this level. For instance a recent report by the Universities and Colleges Union based on research done by two professors at the University of Strathclyde states that:

‘Universities at risk – the impact of cuts in higher education spending on local economies’, published today by UCU, places 49 of England’s 130 higher education institutions at ‘very high’, ‘high’, or ‘high-medium’ risk of serious impact from the proposals, which could leave them vulnerable to merger or, in the worst-case scenario, closure.’

The British Open University, which will suffer the same level of cuts as the other universities, is in a particularly difficult position. Its charter to offer open access to a university education depends on low income students being able to afford its fees.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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