Though the recession has undoubtedly affected universities in the UK, it looks like they’re well-placed to get through it unharmed. The most noticeable disturbance caused by the economic downturn is likely to be that of student numbers — both those applying to, and those accepted into, university.
The University of Lincoln received a total of 12,146 applications this year for degree programs, an increase of 910, or 8%, on 2008’s total. Nationally there was a 10% increase, from over 550,000 in 2008 to nearly 610,000 in 2009.
While it is true that many thousands of applicants may miss out on a place at university because of the government cutting back the increase in places, it is important to remember that there still will be more students taking a place at university this year than last year.
The move was taken by the government in order to limit increases in its spending, but there still will be be more tuition fee money going to universities.
Some funding has been cut, though. The Higher Education Funding Council for England (Hefce) has reduced the amount given to the University of Lincoln in teaching grants by £501,768.
While a large amount of money in its own right, this is just 1.36% of the total the University receives, which is in excess of £36 million.
Hefce had reduced teaching grants by £65 million nationally, leading the University and College Union to warn that it “will equate to the loss of a further 1,500 full time lecturing and support staff”. The union’s general secretary, Sally Hunt, says that the cut “is just the first wave of new cuts we are likely to see in higher education”.
The idea of cutting any funding from universities has been called into question. The OECD, a rich-country think tank, says that countries should put more money into higher education.
The group says that governments get far more out of university graduates — in tax revenue, for example — than it costs to educate them in the first place.
More generally, funding cannot be too tight at the university, as it has just built Sparkhouse 2 as well as sponsoring Lincoln City Football Club’s away and third strip, and has advertising inside the Sincil Bank stadium itself.Tweet