Huge uni budget cuts in current academic year

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THE UNIVERSITY of Portsmouth’s vice-chancellor has allayed fears following the announcement that national university budgets will be slashed by almost £1bn by 2011/12.

John Craven said the further cut in funding in the academic year was ‘anticipated’ and that it would ‘not change expenditure plans as a result’.

Teaching budgets alone will be cut by £342m before September 2011, according to figures published by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

Research budgets in the same time will be slashed by £45m, with funding being allocated by ‘prioritising internationally-excellent and world-leading research’.

Prof Craven said: ‘The exact implications of this announcement for us in Portsmouth will only be revealed in mid-March.

‘There will be a further cut in our funding in this academic year, but we will not change our expenditure plans as a result.

‘I do not at this stage think that the cuts announced for 2011/12 will deflect us from our longer term objectives.’

Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union, said: ‘This is yet another slap in the face for a sector already reeling from huge funding cuts.’

Universities minister David Willetts, who is also Havant’s MP, said: ‘By 2014-15 we expect public support for universities to rise by 10 per cent as institutions that attract students through high-quality courses are given the ability to thrive.’