UK: Universities must cut admin costs

Ministers have calmed fears that universities will be asked to axe thousands of academic jobs and make savings on teaching and research, reports Anthea Lipsett for The Guardian. Letters from the universities secretary, John Denham, to the Higher Education Funding Council for England (Hefce) and the Learning and Skills Council confirm that savings should be made in administration costs, rather than the core university business of teaching and research.

"I am confident that we can find efficiency savings whilst protecting the quality of teaching and research," he wrote. Savings should come from programmes that "do not directly contribute to the frontline delivery of teaching and research", he added.

The higher education sector will have to make £180m of efficiency savings by reducing universities' administrative costs, which can amount to as much as £16,000 per student, depending on the institution. Savings of £106m are expected of the research councils, which will be reinvested in research.
Full report on The Guardian site