Dear Commons Community,
Following up on the Browne Report issued earlier this week, universities in the United Kingdom were getting ready for massive cuts in their budgets. The NY Times quotes Prof. Steve Smith, president of Universities U.K., which represents Britain’s higher-learning institutions, that:
“the government was likely to cut about 80 percent of the current $6.2 billion it pays annually for university teaching, and about $1.6 billion from the $6.4 billion it provides for research.”
This policy is part of the newly adopted U.K. policy that essentially removes the state from the responsibility of funding higher education and puts the onus on the students and tuition revenue.
We in the U.S.A. may think this is unconscionable but many states have already significantly scaled back funding of public higher education and are moving away from higher education as “pubic good” to one of “individual [student] benefit”. Here in New York State, public higher education has been spared but wait until after the gubernatorial election. If you haven’t noticed, candidate and likely governor Andrew Cuomo in his ads is calling for a twenty percent across the board cut in all state funding of public authorities.
The NY Times article on the funding cuts in the U.K. is available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/16/world/europe/16britain.html?_r=1&th&emc=th
salut lou bésse
I agree with you fully.
These type of budget cuts seem frightening to me. Tuition is already extremely expensive, increasing tuition rates to make up for government subsidies seems likely to make it even more difficult for people from lower income families to go to college. In the U.S., class sizes are often already large, so cutting back classes and instructors could make classes that are already large, completely over-stuffed. I understand that the government wants to save money any way they can, but I don’t think this is the right way.