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University funding system in crisis

The university funding crisis revealed by Labour’s Liam Byrne in a series of Parliamentary questions is a real threat to future prosperity in Cambridge warns the city’s Labour Parliamentary candidate, Daniel Zeichner.

The costs of writing off unpaid student loans are now estimated to be 45% of the money raised each year - very close to the figure where the amount of money received by Government after tripling the cost of student fees becomes less than under the previous system. Mr Zeichner says that the implications for a city with three universities are serious:

“People will be staggered to learn that of the 6.7 billion pounds spent on universities, just 0.7 billion is spent on teaching, while 4.2 billion goes on  writing off unpaid loans. It now seems that the Treasury expects this to get even worse. It is quite incredible that the impact of tripling tuition fees has been to load huge levels of debt onto young people and yet raise less money for universities. The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats are presiding over a total shambles which is very serious for  Cambridge. However this plays out, there is likely to be less money for universities – just as a few weeks ago we saw Anglia Ruskin lose half a million pounds which had been intended to support poorer students. If Labour wins next year we will inherit a terrible mess, and the system will need radical overhaul.”

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