Socialist Worker

University cuts: pricing the poor out of education

Issue No. 2183

As if the crisis in education wasn’t bad enough, business secretary Peter Mandelson announced millions of pounds worth of new cuts just days before Christmas.

Mandelson wants to slash higher education funding by £398 million this year. He also has other plans to “cut costs” – including reducing three year degrees to two years.

Mandelson’s cuts will mean that less people get an education – especially the poorest.

He is even fining universities £3,700 for every student they took above the government-imposed cap that was meant to keep student numbers and “costs” down.

According to Ucas there are 16,000 students above the cap – which means total fines of £59.2 million. Universities will have to pay the fines out of already depleted budgets.

It has already become a struggle for many people to get a college or university place and Mandelson wants to make it harder.

But students and education workers have already begun the fight to beat cuts and defend education as a right for all, not a privilege for a rich minority.

The UCU lecturers’ union has called a lobby of parliament on 26 January to protest at cuts in further and higher education from 2.30pm. Go to » for more details

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Tue 5 Jan 2010, 18:00 GMT
Issue No. 2183
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