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Government should rethink university cuts, bishops say

Students and teachers protest against university funding cuts (Photo: PA)

The Government should reconsider plans for drastic cuts to higher education, the bishops of England and Wales said today.

The bishops outlined their concerns in a statement issued after their plenary meeting earlier this week in Leeds.

They said: “Whilst recognising the need to create a system which is robust and sustainable yet also fair and accessible to all, especially the poor, we urge the Government to consider the long-term implications of these proposals.”

They singled out for criticism the decision to fund only Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects in all universities and colleges. They said this assumed “a utilitarian approach to higher education in providing skills predominantly for industry”.

“We fear the negative impact this move will have upon society as a whole,” they said. “It will also adversely affect those institutions of higher education involved in the training of teachers, including our own university colleges and Liverpool Hope University.”