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23 December 2009

Sharp funding cuts for higher education

Lord Mandelson announces annual cuts totalling £533m

By Staff Blogger

The government is to cut university funding by a total of £533m from 2010 – 2011, business secretary Lord Mandelson has said.

In a letter to Higher Education Funding Council For England (HEFCE), he confirms previously announced cuts of £180m and £83m, adding a further reduction of £270m. A promised £109m increase in research funding is contained in the cuts.

The government also wants to see more degrees completed over two years rather than three to cut costs and continue to broaden access to education.

Despite this dedication to widening access, Mandelson’s letter says that some universities have recruited more students than they should have for next year. Where this is the case, he instructs HEFCE to fine them £3,700 per student, to cover the costs of their financial support.

David Willetts, shadow universities and skills secretary, said: “We now have the bizarre situation that universities are being fined for meeting targets set by this government.”

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