UCL News


Letter: Tomorrow's world without science

6 May 2006

The Commons science and technology committee is incorrect in suggesting that government has "no effective lever" to prevent the deleterious internal markets now forming within each university from scrapping expensive science courses.

The Treasury should have long ago increased the absolute levels of resource directed towards universities. For this, some of the immense savings in the social security and crime budgets, which have been made possible through the reduction in unemployment numbers resulting from universities doubling their student numbers, should have been used. The Higher Education Funding Council could still protect endangered courses by increasing the weightings applied to the funding of Stem (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects, which are currently insufficient to cover the costs of their delivery. Little wonder that hard-pressed vice-chancellors are being encouraged to shut down subjects that the nation should be protecting.

Prof James Croll [UCL Civil & Environmental Engineering], 'The Guardian'