UCU says changes to university funding will cause confusion and instability

UCU today hit out at government plans to change the way university courses are funded.

Responding to news that the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) is to press ahead with controversial plans to no longer fund people seeking to do a higher education qualification at an equivalent level to a one they already have, UCU warned the move would create confusion and instability.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'HEFCE's response to the withdrawal of funding for students wishing to go back to university is totally inadequate. We still do not understand why alternative options were not made available, or why there was not wider consultation before the original announcement was made.

'We are baffled by the suggestion that all subjects exempted from the funding withdrawal will be reviewed on an annual basis. How is anyone supposed to plan courses with the knowledge that all their students could go because some other subject has argued a stronger case for being exempted from funding changes?

'The last thing the sector needs is further confusion and instability, yet this exactly what these proposals will bring. I am yet to meet anyone who is convinced by the arguments in favour of removing ELQ funding and UCU will continue to work with a broad alliance in the sector to support widening participation and lifelong learning – it is time for the government to think again on this flawed policy.'