Responding to the University and College Union’s report to be published today (8th December 2010), Andy Westwood, GuildHE Chief Executive said:
‘GuildHE shares UCU’s concerns about the removal of HEFCE and TDA funding for large numbers of subjects and the disproportionate effect on particular institutions. GuildHE also recognises and supports UCU’s description of the importance of universities to their local economies – an aspect almost completely absent from both Browne and the Government’s plans for higher education in England.
‘However, we strongly reject the UCU’s flawed methodology and conclusions in its report “Universities at Risk”, published today (8th December 2010). To rely on the level and proportion of public funding and the numbers of students from disadvantaged backgrounds is far too crude an assessment of likely financial difficulty or closure. Many institutions mentioned, according to HEFCE, are in strong financial health and also perform extremely well in terms of student choice and teaching quality.
‘GuildHE recognises the scale of the challenge ahead for its members and has been very clear in our disagreement with Browne and the Government’s position. But in a market where student demand will determine the financial health of institutions, GuildHE members will rely on strong track records, a distinctive ethos, unrivalled employability records and specialist reputations to consolidate their position.’
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Notes to editors
GuildHE is a recognised higher education representative body. Its 32 members are among the most dynamic and fastest-growing institutions in the sector.