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  Item Reference: KCLCAL-1975-1976-404

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xxxii Annual Report of the Delegacy In that year 1969 however it also became clear that the government considered itself obliged to seek means of reducing unit costs in higher education It is scarcely surprising therefore though it was very un- welcome that the quinquennial settlement for 1972-77 aimed not at an increase as we had hoped but at reduction of unit costs in the Univer- sides as whole by per cent This has had to be accommodated even though certain important unavoidable commitments for example the salaries of academic staff must increase in terms of costs per student during this quinquennium and probably in the next also If the present government continues as seems likely Mrs Thatcher's policy as set out in the White Paper of November 1972 suggests that the settlement for 1977-82 will maintain and possibly intensify the trend of the settlement of 1972 that is tendency to reduce unit costs But already the requirements of the management of the national economy have led to substantial further tightening of the screw even beyond the objectives of the present quinquennial settlement This hardening of the government attitude together with the reduction of the national target for student numbers for 1976-77 because fewer school-leavers are seeking entry to Universities than was expected has obliged the UGC to undertake what amounts to complete revision of the present quinquennial settlement and this is proceeding at this moment Furthermore supplementation for price rises in 1973 is in any case to be removed altogether in the year 1974-75 In the years 975-76 and 1976-77 it will be reduced by 50 per cent and may be reduced again to zero for the latter two years That is supplementation for price increases in 1973 As for price increases in 1974 and subsequent years and in the revision of grants following the reduction of students' targets for 1976-77 and by grants mean University recurrent grants what we can expect is uncertain But already there has been mandatory reduction in unit costs per equivalent full-time student of proportion which can be determined only when it is known to what extent the UGC and the Court of London University have been able to cushion its effect by distributing reserves held for other purposes Our Block Grant for this quinquennium as originally announced entailed small increase per full-time student in real terms during the quinquennium But it is very doubtful whether this increase will remain after the present cuts The permitted growth of student number here during the quin- quennium about per cent was considerably below the national
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