As many of you will have seen, today’s Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) has brought significant change to the funding of universities. This follows the Browne Review which recommended unprecedented change and effectively introduced a marketplace for higher education.
The announcement of a reduction in funding is of course hugely disappointing but I am confident in our ability to respond positively here in Bradford. The statement that the science budget will be frozen is at least of some comfort within a general environment of cuts. However the overall cut in University funding from within the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), where much of our funding comes from, is likely to be at least 10% per year over the next four years. The overall picture from the CSR does not differ dramatically from the projections about cuts within the Browne review. We will now need to create a strategy which sustains both our financial future and our vision for high quality, research informed and accessible higher education.
Tomorrow I will be attending a HEFCE conference, as well as a number of further national meetings over the next few days, in order to gain a more complete understanding of the financial and policy climate in which we will be working and fully model the likely scenarios for us here at Bradford. Over the next month I will then be meeting with staff from academic schools and central services to begin a measured and informed debate to explore the options available for our University. I will of course send further updates as the picture becomes clearer.
Whilst this period of change and uncertainty is difficult for us all, I am confident that through the strength of our academic offer, our excellent track record of graduate employment and our research profile, we can continue to compete nationally and internationally and contribute positively to our community here in Bradford.