Education International
Education International

Union responds to report on universities' role in moving UK out of recession

published 28 July 2009 updated 28 July 2009

The University and College Union (UCU) said today that universities must be allowed to play their full part in helping lift the country out of recession.

Responding to a report from Universities UK, "From Recession to Recovery", the union argued that universities needed proper support from government if they are able to deliver vital elements of the UK's recovery.

UCU said universities' ability to prepare graduates, deliver high-end research and work productively with the business community depended on key factors such as sufficient staff and proper funding. It warned that trying to force institutions to do more for less was not the way to solve problems during tough economic times.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: "We agree with Universities UK and the government that universities will have a vital role to play as we look to drive ourselves out of recession. Higher education contributes billions to the wider economy through world-class research and ideas and services. These contributions need to be encouraged and clearly that is not going to happen with funding cuts and job losses – as we are seeing at the moment."

"The need for a highly-skilled future workforce has been consistently stressed by the government. UCU shares the aim of more students at university and more graduates in the future. However, we do not believe it is in anyone's interest to try and teach more students with fewer teachers."

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