London universities attack ‘levelling down’ plans

The universities regulator, the Office for Students, is planning to remove a portion of the state teaching grant that was previously channelled towards institutions in London to reflect the higher costs of delivering education there. But universities in the capital say this could create more inequalities than it addresses, given the scale of deprivation in the city, writes Rachel Hall for The Guardian.

“The secretary of state for education has decided that in support of the national ‘levelling up’ agenda, and despite the exceptionally high costs of operating in London, the capital’s great universities are to be levelled down,” said Professor Paul Curran, the president of City, University of London.

A report by London Higher, which represents 40 universities and colleges in the capital, says the institutions that will be worst affected by the £64 million (US$88 million) loss in funding are seven already in deficit that would be unable to plug the shortfall by recruiting more international students. These universities typically recruit more disadvantaged students and focus on educating key workers, including on important specialist health courses that in some cases are already run at a loss and may no longer be viable.
Full report on The Guardian site