Today’s announcement of the immediate removal of the London Weighting confirms our worst fears that levelling up for the rest of the country means levelling down for London.
London’s higher education sector is world-leading, comprising a diverse range of institutions from large, prestigious research-intensives to small, specialist arts and music colleges; all of whom are set to be hit hard by today’s decision.
With London being the UK’s most expensive city to live and work, the London Weighting has never represented extra money for London or for students attending courses in the city, but it has simply gone some way to bridging the shortfall of funds needed to deliver a high-quality higher education experience in the capital.
Today’s decision to cut the London Weighting will vastly reduce the ability of London institutions to conduct ground-breaking research and continue to attract international talent, essential to the economic prowess of the UK as a whole.
Had the Government consulted London’s higher education sector prior to making this announcement, it would have been clear how essential the London Weighting is to upholding the quality of London’s higher education and research provision and, by extension, the strength of the UK’s reputation as a study and research destination of choice. The fact this decision was made without consultation further compounds our disappointment.
We look forward to a meeting with the Universities Minister at the earliest opportunity to hear more about the rationale for this decision.