Labour's riposte to Cable speech on fees
06 Apr 2011
The Labour Party has responded to the Business Secretary's warning to universities that student numbers or funding may be cut back if fees go too high (see story above) with figures estimating the possible extent of those reductions.
Labour's universities spokesman, Gareth Thomas, has released figures from the House of Commons Library which estimate the possible size of the cuts if average fees are higher than £7,500, the amount the government indicated it had budgeted for. He says:
- If average fees are equal to £8,000 then further cuts of £430m over the CSR period would be required. This is equivalent to cutting student numbers by 17,000 per year, 47,000 in total (5% of the student places).
- If average fees end up closer to £8,500 then further cuts of £870m over the CSR period would be required, this is equivalent to a cut of 33,000 student places per year, or 91,000 in total (10% of student places).
- Alternatively if average fees are equal to £8,000 this is equivalent to 6% of HEFCE research funding over the CSR and if average fees were closer to £8,500 then this is equivalent to 13% of HEFCE research funding over the CSR.
Mr Thomas said today's 'crude threats' were 'further proof' that the government's policy 'has unravelled and is now in chaos'.