Universities: Financial Sustainability

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:26 pm on 11th February 2019.

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Photo of Chris Skidmore Chris Skidmore Vice-Chair, Conservative Party, Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Education) 4:26 pm, 11th February 2019

Absolutely. If we begin to return to a stage where universities are financed entirely by taxation it would not only put an increased burden of £12 billion on the taxpayer—an increase of about 2p to 3p on income tax rates—but mean that HE would have to compete with Government funding priorities on the NHS and welfare. Ultimately, we would return to student number caps and the situation we see in publicly funded universities in other countries where people struggle to find seats in lecture theatres. It is right that we have a sustainable financial system that protects students’ futures.