White Paper: rules may favour the humanities government’s new higher education policies could cut student places in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects and create extra places in cheaper arts and humanities disciplines, vice-chancellors have warned.

A number of senior sector figures are concerned that the core-margin system, unveiled in the government’s higher education White Paper, will deduct places from high-cost STEM subjects and allocate them to cheaper institutions more likely to offer lower-cost arts and humanities places.

Critics also argue that the proportion of AAB students is higher in arts and humanities subjects, creating a further incentive to weight provision towards those disciplines under the new market for elite students.

Some vice-chancellors raised the issue with Prime Minister David Cameron during a meeting at 10 Downing Street last month.

Under the system, universities will lose an average of 8 per cent of their student places, creating a 20,000-strong margin to be auctioned off to institutions – including further education colleges – that offer average fees of less than £7,500.

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By Second World War Posters

Mass Communications Academic, @MMUBS. British Home Front Propaganda posters as researched for a PhD completed 2004. In 1997, unwittingly wrote the first history of the Keep Calm and Carry On poster, which she now follows with interest.

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