College reacts to Higher Education cuts

As Royal Holloway faces 79% cuts in teaching and £1bn research grants from the government, and we have heard the prompt reactions of our Students’ Union, The Founder has asked for the opinions of some of those in charge of the college itself.

Our Principal, Professor Paul Layzell, ‘welcomes the fact that the proposals draw on the progressive elements in Lord Browne’s report, particularly in ensuring that no student has to pay tuition fees up front, with increased maintenance grants for poorer students and the introduction of financial support for part-time students.’

He claims ‘the proposed system of graduate contributions and student support will help ensure the sustainability of UK higher education and continue to provide students with lifelong skills that enhance their employability and help them adapt to a changing work and social environment’, saying that the package of proposals ‘will go some way towards mitigating the affect of £2.9bn cuts in higher education budgets.’

Prof. Layzell ‘acknowledges the steps being taken to ensure that students from all backgrounds are not deterred from applying to university thanks to an increased maintenance grant.’

‘However, the proposals will need to be carefully implemented alongside spending cuts, with sensible phasing to ensure financial stability and to protect the experience of current students.’

The academic deans of the college’s three faculties – Arts, History and Social Sciences, and Science – issued this joint statement:

‘We deeply regret the current funding situation facing Higher Education. We are committed to public investment in a broad range of disciplines and note that England could soon have some of the lowest direct levels of state support for higher education among comparator western countries.’

‘However,’ Profs. Normington, Deem and Beesley (respectively) add, ‘we believe that students and staff at Royal Holloway are well placed to face the challenges that the future holds for us and we remain committed to a breadth of disciplinary, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary study in the fields of Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences and Science.’

The coalition’s huge cuts to higher education will certainly have unprecedented effects on our university, and it is reassuring to see our Principal is confident of their benefits.

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