Maddalaine Ansell, chief executive of University Alliance – Britain’s universities for cities and regions – said in response to the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Emergency Budget today:
“We are pleased that this budget recognises the value of our universities and seeks to put their funding on a sustainable footing for the benefit of both our students and the taxpayer.
“Linking tuition fees to inflation is essential if our universities are to offer world class teaching. It is reasonable to link the increase to teaching excellence and University Alliance looks forward to working with the Government to work out how this can best be done.
“We welcome the measures to ensure that all students with the ability and aspiration to attend university can do so. We have long supported the removal of the student numbers cap. While we would have preferred increased maintenance grants, we recognise that the government’s commitment to reducing the deficit means that hard choices have to be made. Although the devil will be in the detail, a bigger maintenance loan that provides financial support to the most disadvantaged students is better than a grant that does not.
“In the same spirit, we recognise that freezing the repayment threshold will significantly reduce the RAB charge. This, in turn, is likely to mean that the new funding system, which we think is broadly working, will be sustained.”