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University of Winchester at Risk?

Below is University of Winchester’s Senior Management’s response to the Universities at Risk Report which was published yesterday.

The report, titled Universities at Risk, published on 8 December by the University and College Union (UCU) is deeply flawed. The report assesses likely financial difficulty or closure by crudely highlighting the level and proportion of public funding and the numbers of students from disadvantaged backgrounds, while crucially ignoring fundamental factors such as profitability, liquidity, student demand and the ability to replace the loss of funding with fees.

It is unacceptable and irresponsible of the UCU to publish this ill-informed report. The University of Winchester, like many of the institutions included on the list, is in strong financial health, is able to demonstrate high quality teaching and research and is continuing to attract high numbers of students. The report has the potential to be deeply damaging to the reputations of the universities identified and therefore their ability to recruit students under next year’s new fee regime.

The University shares UCU’s concern about the removal of HEFCE and TDA funding for large numbers of subjects and the disproportionate effect on particular institutions. However, higher education is about to be transformed by the new fee regime and it will be student demand that will determine the financial health of institutions. The University recognises the scale of the challenges ahead and is well-placed with a strong track record, a distinctive ethos and specialist reputation to compete in the market and ensure its future.

By admin

Dr Bex Lewis is passionate about helping people engage with the digital world in a positive way, where she has more than 20 years’ experience. She is Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University and Visiting Research Fellow at St John’s College, Durham University, with a particular interest in digital culture, persuasion and attitudinal change, especially how this affects the third sector, including faith organisations, and, after her breast cancer diagnosis in 2017, has started to research social media and cancer. Trained as a mass communications historian, she has written the original history of the poster Keep Calm and Carry On: The Truth Behind the Poster (Imperial War Museum, 2017), drawing upon her PhD research. She is Director of social media consultancy Digital Fingerprint, and author of Raising Children in a Digital Age: Enjoying the Best, Avoiding the Worst  (Lion Hudson, 2014; second edition in process) as well as a number of book chapters, and regularly judges digital awards. She has a strong media presence, with her expertise featured in a wide range of publications and programmes, including national, international and specialist TV, radio and press, and can be found all over social media, typically as @drbexl.

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