Use budget to reverse degree cuts, says UCU

UCU argues world has changed dramatically since 'calamitous' decision to axe access to second chance courses.

UCU said today that tomorrow's budget is the opportunity the government needs to reverse a 'calamitous' funding cut to university degrees. The union says that the original decision, taken before the country plunged into recession, to remove funding for people looking to study a second university degree looked even more ridiculous when people desperately need to retrain or reskill.
UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'At the very time when we should be supporting lifelong learning that money has been taken away from it. The government's widely-criticised decision to withdraw funding for people studying for second degrees looks an even more disastrous one in the current climate.
'The world is a very different place to when that calamitous decision was originally taken and tomorrow's budget represents an excellent opportunity for the government to right that wrong and to demonstrate its commitment to both education and helping people who need to try and restart their lives. Now, more than ever, people need support for a second chance.'
The funding cut for ELQ* degrees has been described as this government's least popular education policy following widespread criticism from unions, universities and the other political parties.

*ELQ degrees are qualifications that are equivalent to, or lower than, one that a person has already achieved.