Cut your coat according to your cloth


The University of Lincoln will cut bursaries for all but the poorest of students. Photo: Mike Hodges

It’s a fact that UK universities are facing massive cuts in their funding. Those cuts are going to have an impact on us all, whether we’re students, academics or support staff.

Bursaries at the University of Lincoln appear to be the first target on the list. Proposals include a 45% cut in the maximum amount paid to those receiving the full maintenance grant. Those students who don’t enjoy the benefit of the full maintenance grant face losing their bursaries entirely.

Is this fair? Probably not. Will it make life potentially harder for University of Lincoln students? Quite possibly. But in the current economic climate we are all going to have to learn to tighten our belts. We will have to reduce spending on “fun” and learn to live within our means. A harsh but valuable lesson for us all.

Potentially this squeeze on student finance may result in students suffering but it just might deter those who don’t have the right motivation to be at university. It might also serve to remind students that attending university isn’t a right but a privilege. A privilege that should be valued and appreciated for the life enhancing learning and experiences on offer. Attending university is a golden opportunity and, perhaps, these cuts to bursaries might help to reinforce that message.

Remember that there is fierce competition for university places. Applications are at record levels. Cuts to bursaries are unlikely to deter the army of applicants seeking a route to a better life. It might just make them more determined to work harder and succeed.

2 Responses to Cut your coat according to your cloth

  1. Fraser McFarland says:

    If the university is struggling this much financially where do they keep finding the money for more and more buildings when their current facilities are never full?

    Time for a change in its spending plans.

  2. Nick Jackson says:

    It’s all to do with how capital expenditure (like buildings) is budgeted for. Put simply, the money for the new building was set aside (even in this year’s and next year’s budget) before the financial crisis, and before funding was cut.

    The University of Lincoln is very reliant on government funding because it is a relatively new university which hasn’t had time to establish other funding sources, for example via research. This is why when funding cuts come at a government level, something has to give.

    In this case, although several students find their bursaries invaluable, it’s probably one of the things which causes least long term damage. If students who previously had a bursary now find they actually cannot attend university or have significant difficulties because of it, the Access to Learning Fund is there to help support them. The new building, however, improves the university’s ability to recruit students (bringing more funding) and top-flight researchers and lecturers (improving research funding) as well as providing a better space for our existing Business & Law students to study in. I’d wager it’ll even have yet another coffee bar.

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