Government announcement on additional student numbers

20 July 2009

Director General of the Russell Group, Dr Wendy Piatt, said:

“The Russell Group supports the Government’s longstanding aim to ensure that more students get the opportunity to benefit from going to university.  However, any growth in the number of students must be funded in a sustainable way that will not create real and long term difficulties for UK universities and undermine the quality of the student experience.

“Maintaining quality is sacrosanct. Subjects like engineering and science are particularly expensive to teach and we know that there is already a funding shortfall for teaching at Russell Group universities. As a recent HEFCE study has highlighted, without further investment the ‘quality of the student experience and the reputation and contribution of English higher education will suffer’"

Notes to editors

  1. More information on the announcement made by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is available from here: http://nds.coi.gov.uk/content/Detail.aspx?ReleaseID=404961&NewsAreaID=2
  2. Recent HEFCE research showed that universities need an additional 15 -20% funding for current teaching levels to be sustained.  It concluded that without further investment the ‘quality of the student experience and the reputation and contribution of English higher education will suffer’. The sustainability of learning and teaching in English higher education’ A report prepared for the Financial Sustainability Strategy Group by JM Consulting, December 2008

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