University of Reading response to Comprehensive Spending Review
Release Date 20 October 2010
The University of Reading recognises that the climate for public expenditure today means that higher education cannot be immune from changes to state financial support. However, the removal of significant teaching and research funding threatens the excellence of UK universities, and undermines the crucial role played by universities in developing the next generation of talent from this country and across the world. Universities such as Reading will do what they can to replace this lost funding, but under the models being considered by Government, the shortfall will predominantly have to be made up through increased student fees.
The Government needs to ensure that there is an overall funding package for universities which is sustainable, and which does not hinder the ability of our leading institutions to deliver an excellent student experience, ground-breaking research and economic growth. While the Government has announced it has accepted the thrust of the Browne Report, it is imperative that it makes clear as soon as possible the detail of what it proposes to implement and the timescale of these changes. Universities cannot plan without a clear understanding of the future for fees.
Any decision on fees must also provide financial support systems which ensure that talent and potential are the only factors that dictate attendance at university and that no-one is disadvantaged by their personal financial circumstances. A clear message must also go out to future generations that it is not the student who will be paying the fees, but the graduate, when he or she is earning sufficient to do so. We have a strong record in providing generous bursaries at the University of Reading. We believe that fees must not be a disincentive for talented young people who are considering applying to university.
We are eager to be able to share information on funding and fees with prospective students and their parents. The next generation of students will be investing significantly in their futures and we are determined to provide them with the best advice as they make their decisions and to demonstrate that their investment will result in a high-quality education and an excellent student experience at Reading. We will update you as soon as the position becomes clearer