Degree courses cut by 26 per cent
A new report by the University and College Union has revealed the number of full-time undergraduate courses on offer in the UK has fallen by 26 per cent since 2006.
The document entitled, "Course cuts: How choice has declined in higher education" shows that the number of undergraduate courses available has decreased from 70,052 in 2006 to 51,116 in 2012. The report analysed data from UCAS and found a wide range of cuts across all subjects from science, technology, arts and humanities.
Among the single-subject courses examined in the UK, there has been a fall of 14.6 per cent in STEM subjects, social science courses have dropped by 12.8 per cent, and arts and humanities have fallen by 14 per cent.
"While successive governments have been dreaming up new ways to increase the cost of going to university, the range of subjects available to students has fallen massively. The UK's global academic reputation is built on the broad range of subjects available and on the freedom of academics to push at the boundaries and create new areas of study. This report shows that, while government rhetoric is all about students as consumers, the curriculum has actually narrowed significantly," said Sally Hunt, UCU General Secretary.
Within the UK, England suffered the biggest drop with 31 per cent of courses cut. Northern Ireland has seen a drop of 24 per cent, Wales dropped 11 per cent and Scotland scrapped only three per cent.
"Although students in England are expected to pay up to £9,000 a year to study, there is much less choice for them," added Sally Hunt. "Shifting the burden of funding from the state to the student means nervous universities will look to axe even more courses that they worry won't make a profit. However, we simply cannot have areas of the country where local students do not have access to the courses they want to study."