Universities' Funding Problems

Universities' Funding Problems

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The Down the U.S. Route is an article based on universities funding

Universities are under funded and don’t have enough resources to
provide for their students. British universities depend on government
support. However Cambridge and Oxford have financial support this also
integrates with Harvard as they have billions of funds.

Other countries are able to hire specialists to lecture their students
whereas British universities are unable to. British universities will
fall behind if they don’t improve their universities as the government
is not prepared to give money because they believe it won’t be money
well spent.

Blair made a point, ‘’every university has a right to set their
fees’’. Good universities attract intelligent students.

As stated in page 3 in the first paragraph the government will not
support higher education. As no modern government can fund for
universities. This is because Blair has limited the amount of money to
fund. At the same time as America can withdraw money from a private

The contradicting issue is that universities need to take more
students as the ratio between students and staff is changing. British
universities bring more foreign students as they pay seven times more
than British students.

The tuition charges have been chapped as £1,500. When this article was
written the Vice Chancellors thought chapped can be improved. As
Imperial College requires £14,000 to teach an undergraduate student.

As the National Union of Students has proposed to tuition fees.
However children from the Working Class Families are discouraged as
they have fewer opportunities to attend universities due to lack of
financial support. The Politicians such as the labour party affect
working class families this is because they support the government but
have no choice in the decisions made.

The tuition fees have been raised by 2% which is an indication of
public support for extra spending on universities. The voters do not
see the benefits which were provided by higher education.

Universities need money to survive. The education system needs radical
surgery if changes are to be made.

Using different resources and reading widely I gathered different
sources of information as I believe universities need money to survive
and stay successful. The major problems which have arisen by
universities are funding and tuition fees.

The Financial Times contacted almost 70 universities in an attempt to
chart the impact of market forces on academia ahead of the
introduction of variable tuition fees in two years time (Miranda
Green, Education Correspondent). Universities face new challenges as
the university of Liverpool admits, ‘’ admissions departments and
strategists are waiting to see if the advent of variable fees will
make some courses more economic to run than others.

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As today the subjects which are most popular demand are health, social
work and other public-sector linked vocational study because of the
overflowing demand. Thames Valley University clearly outlines that ‘’
The big trend now is for work-based learning… The new fees will force
the trend even further in this direction because faced with getting
hugely into debt or starting work and getting a degree at the same
time, more and more are bound to choose the latter’’.

During the end of the First World War, universities had turned to the
government for help following a financial crisis caused by inflation
and a war induced drop in fee-paying students. The average income per
student is £4,000, but educating that student costs around £10,000 or
more at Oxford and Cambridge, this results as a huge loss. Today,
Cambridge loses about £11m a year. However to cover the losses,
universities have failed to maintain their buildings or invest in new

Nevertheless, the government provided each university a fixed number
of students and a fixed sum of money to teach them, so teachers had no
financial incentive to improve teaching, which is free, competitive
system that attracts more students and higher fees (Financial Times

Today British universities try to contrast with America universities
as Harvard has managed to stay mainly independent of government money.
During the war, the US government offered America’s private
universities funding for science in return for state control, however
they refused the offer: the government then granted billions of
dollars in funding anyway. Due to the academic success with America’s
private universities their competition has fired an arms race between
them for money, the best students and the best staff. This system is
very different from the UK.

Due to Blair’s victory on top-up fees in January, the change from
2006 means any university can charge up to £3,000 on top of what it
already gets from the government. The fees will vary between courses
and universities depending on the supply and demand. On the other hand
this therefore means students which come from poorer backgrounds will
be unable to get the opportunity to go to university.

An education minister has said he would not be advocating government
plans to allow universities to charge top-up fees if he thought the
policy would damage the chances of ‘’working-class kids’’.
Consequently this will cause a funding crisis as the top up fees would
see student’s debt rise to around £21,000, which would put many people
from poorer backgrounds off going to university.

The university funding Legislation will change due to the new policy
stated by the government as the government wants towards 50% of people
fewer than 30 in higher education by 2010. Families earning less than
£30,000 would get help with the first £1,100. As a result families
earning under £10,000 will receive £1,000 a year.

A Department for Education and Skills (DfES) spokesman said putting
off ‘’difficult choices’’ would not help universities get the extra
funding they need to thrive.

‘’ If we don’t address these tough issues and make choices, in the
long term, the loser will be the British economy,’’ he said. (BBC News
2003) Education secretary Damian Green called for tuition fees to be
scrapped altogether.

For that reason, I consider that the government should not change
their principles in terms of the increase in tuition fees annually.
Furthermore I think universities on a whole need to maintain their
standards and reputation so that the government are able to support
the teachers and students financially.



Financial Times, 1st Nov 04

New universities snub tradition in vocation shift

Green Miranda

Education Correspondent

Universities face new challenges

Green Miranda, O’Leary Anne-Marie, Hoffman Hannah

Financial Times Magazine, 16 Oct 04

University challenge

Bowley Graham

Dodds Lan


BBC News, June 03

Minister defends top-up fees

Quotes from the Liberal Democrat MP Phil Wills
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