The announcement of further cuts to higher education was greeted with concern by GuildHE – worried at its damage to the longer term economic position. Alice Hynes, CEO of GuildHE, one the two formal representative bodies for higher education, said:

“The new team in Treasury need to understand that higher education is part of their armoury of solutions in delivering economic recovery.  Higher education has already taken an early share of cuts within the year – over £1 billion announced since last December. Our efficiency is being penalised unfairly given the need to have stable and sustainable funding planned ahead – not a haemorrhaging of resources which damages delivery and student opportunity by such continuing cuts.

"We are relieved to see the manifesto promise of 10,000 additional student places retained, but this leaves thousands of qualified people who will miss out. This will create a domino effect across HE, FE and non-graduate jobs, pushing others less qualified into the dole queue. The penalty levied on HE institutions prevents even those who think they might have some space and could help at the margins in this bumper year, being able to assist.

"We think David Willetts and Vince Cable understand the economic and social arguments for higher education’s contribution, so we call on George Osborne and David Laws to “turn again” when they look at their tough budget decisions for June and the upcoming Spending Review. We ask for a rethink on where they place their economic bets and ask them to go for securing wealth for the future, by retaining their investment in the nation’s human capital delivered by higher education. A speedy response to the outcome of the Browne Review will also make a difference. But a proportionate solution will not let the State off its responsibilities, especially as figures show we still spend less on higher education than many of our OECD competitors.

"This adaptable HE sector will respond, but it is the more politically aware population that will register this year (and in the future) the missed chances for themselves and their children from such a squeeze on higher education.”

For more information, please contact:

Alice Hynes, CEO GuildHE,
tel. 020 7387 7711

Notes to editors

1. For more information see

2. GuildHE is a recognised representative organisation within the higher education sector. 

3. GuildHE members are among the most dynamic and fastest-growing institutions in higher education. For a list of GuildHE institutions, please visit: