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There is “no case” to make cuts to the £332 million programme which helps disadvantaged students attend university, according to the head of universities think tank Million+.
In an open letter to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg Professor Michael Gunn, Vice-Chancellor of Staffordshire University and Million+ chair has called for intervention to prevent the fund from being cut by £200 million as part of savings in the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills budget for 2014-15.
The think tank is also concerned that the Government may be planning to abolish the fund completely in 2015-16.
It is understood that the battle over opportunity funding may be contributing to adelay in the Government’s annual grant letter to the Higher Education Funding Council for England, which sets out the coming year’s funding plans and priorities.
Professor Gunn said: "The Student Opportunity Allocation is the last remaining direct funding from Government to support universities which recruit students from a wide range of backgrounds.
"Social mobility does not stop at the school gate and there is simply no case to cut Student Opportunity funding in universities.”
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