Universities face strikes as market revolution bites

Academics in Crewe are waiting in limbo. The campus, which is run by Manchester Metropolitan University, is the main centre for higher education in south Cheshire. But in February it was confirmed it would close in the summer of 2019, with 160 academic jobs at risk, and last week those academics were planning to stage a two-day walkout in protest. Welcome to life at the sharp end of the market revolution in English higher education, writes Rebecca Ratcliffe for the Guardian.

Across the country, universities are preparing for hundreds of redundancies as they deal with ferocious competition, Brexit and the launch of the government’s official ‘gold, silver and bronze’ league table.

Figures seen by the Observer show that already some universities are struggling. Between 2011 and 2015 the number of young students starting full-time courses at Russell Group universities grew by 15%, while the number of entrants to MillionPlus institutions, which represent former polytechnics and colleges, shrank by 22.9%. The analysis, which looked at broad trends, found the number of students starting at University Alliance institutions, which represents those focusing on local business links, and smaller specialist universities, fell by 3.4% and 7.1% respectively.
Full report on the Guardian site