PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 10th May 2009 - 27 Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF - www.kentgreenparty.org 0845 257 4236 – 01732 355185 – Mobile: 079444 71083
KENT’S GREEN EUROPEAN CANDIDATES WARN OF WORSENING SKILLS SHORTAGES
Kent’s two Green Party European Candidates are warning of worsening skills shortages in the recession due to a failure to invest in Higher Education. University spending is being capped, meaning up to 30,000 qualified would-be students, in Kent and elsewhere, could fail to find places in UK Universities(1). Hazel and Steve Dawe comment:
“We both work in Higher Education. Since the UK has massive skills shortages of all kinds, the Government’s present policy of capping University spending will make this worse. We expect young people who fail to get University places this autumn may well seek to study in Europe instead, or in the United States. This undermines our own University institutions. There is, of course, no guarantee that those who study abroad will return to work in the UK.
The Government is even threatening to fine University’s £10,000 per student they take on above the capping level. This is utter madness. Universities face an imminent £180 million in ‘efficiency savings’ at a time when expansion would keep people out of the dole queues.
“We believe that a Green New Deal for Higher Education including a response to the recession means ensuring that people have University opportunities to go to. The alternative for many will be unemployment. Kent’s Higher Education sector has a role to play in keeping unemployment down and training people for better jobs. Voters should address their concerns about growing unemployment to their County and European candidates in the 4th June elections: will all the parties fight to keep people in education or in useful work, or will they allow unemployment to spiral upwards instead?” ends c270 words
FURTHER INFORMATION: Hazel and Steve Dawe, 01732 355185 or 079444 71083. Both Hazel and Steve are on the Green Party’s South East region candidate list for the European Elections. Dr Hazel Dawe is a Senior Lecturer in Law; Steve Dawe lectures in Public Administration.
Notes:1 See for example, Polly Curtis – Cutbacks could see student numbers fall The Guardian, 9th May 2009; http://www.nouse.co.uk/2009/02/10/national-cap-may-force-york-to-turn-away-home-undergraduates/ ; http://www.london-student.net/2009/04/28/how-labours-budget-could-cost-them-the-student-vote/
2. SEE: http://www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/Newsroom/Media-Releases/Pages/DIUSefficiency-savings.aspx