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Long term cuts to higher education expected

The Institute for Fiscal Studies, the IFS, predicts cuts will continue to hit University funding towards maintenance grants and places after the next election.

Higher education can have a life-changing impact in terms of social mobility and earning capacity

Photo: Guardian

The IFS has looked at higher education funding up to 2017-18, with cuts expected to continue up to this date. The IFS has five scenarios for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills budget, which funds higher education. However, if the NHS, schools and overseas budgets continue to be protected, cuts to the BIS could range from 11.1% to 24.7%.

Proposed methods to tackle the funding cut consist of reducing student numbers by 3% a year from 2014- 2015, abolishing the remaining teaching grant for high cost subjects such as Medicine, and changing the threshold in awarding maintenance grants to students with parents on a low income.

The director of the Oxford Centre for Higher Education Policy Studies, David Palfreyman, warned the government “unless you input some new money you’ve got some nasty decisions to make”.

However, the professor noted that in comparison to cuts made to Health services “people don’t die” as a result of education cuts.

19/11/2013

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