Returning for its third year, the University of Birmingham’s Arts and Science Festival took place over a week-long period, which commenced on 16th March. The Arts and Science Festival also coincided with the Flatpack Film Festival.Written by Farah Sheraz on 30th March 2015
As it happened – Coalition Spending Review
Follow the announcements as they happen regarding George Osbourne’s spending review and how the deep the cuts to tertiary education will be, how they will effect not only the...
Follow the announcements as they happen regarding George Osbourne's spending review and how the deep the cuts to tertiary education will be, how they will effect not only the University of Birmingham but also university life nationwide. We will be adding interviews of student opinions around campus as the announcements are made.
Coverage to begin at 12:30 following the announcement.
Coverage by Journalists Laura Frost and Freddie Herzog
16:22 - The actual document of the spending review has at last been released on the internet. If you want to read to 106 page document then click here:
15:41 - NUS President Aaron Porter predicts the cuts will lead to "the effective privatisation of universities" and restrict students' opportunities. " He adds that this is a spending review that looks an entire generation in the eye and says 'You're on your own' ".
15:37 - A student's reaction to the review - Nicki (a 2nd year classics student):
15;36 - A student's reaction to the review - Dave on the expected 40% cuts:
15:30 - University leaders say that the 40% reduction in university teaching budgets "cannot be good news". But the overall announcement of £2.9 billion in cuts are less than was forecast
15;17 - The Ministry of Justice believes that the prison population in England and Wales will stabilise as a result of sentencing reforms and will eventually drop by 3,000 by 2015
15:15 - Funding for further education for those aged 19 and over is going to be cut by 25% - a reduction of £1.1 billion
15:08 - A representative from the University of the West of England has said that humanities subjects need to be protected by specific universities as the government is supporting more scientific and research based subjects
15:02 - Scotland will see a cash rise to £25.4 billion but this will be below the rate of inflation. Scotland will also suffer less severe cuts than it was expecting at £0.9 billion rather than £1.2 billion
14:57 - More details of university funding are being announced. Excluding research, funding will be reduced by 40%, down from £7.1 billion to £4.2 billion. A university group has warned against "sleepwalking towards a privatised university sector".
14:45 - Northern Ireland is likely to be the hardest devolved nation that is hit as 1/3 of employees are employed in public services
14:44 - Rail fares will rise 3.5% above inflation levels after 2012 and home office spending will be down by 23% in four years - this means less police money
14:43 -There will be a 3.4% real time cut in education spending but an increase of 0.1% in primary education spending. This means that someone is going to have to pick up the slack - the universities so expect reduced funding or massive rises in fees
14:37 - At last a mention of university funding. George Osborne has just been quizzed on why he did not follow the idea of a graduate tax saying that it would centralise the university system far too much.
14:27 - The unions are not in favour of the Chancellor's proposals as many jobs that seemed safe now are very uncertain with the TUC General secretary Brendan Barber, saying that the cuts are "eye watering" and will have a desperate impact on communities, business and hard pressed families".
14:18 - MPs are not asking George Osborne about higher education funding at all - it seems that students have been completely forgotten about. As the Browne review only came out last week, either politicians have very short memories or are using the spending review as a smoke screen for the issue that will affect thousands of students in the next few years
14;16 - MPS are now starting to leave the House of Commons, only to be met by the media circus who are now reviewing the impacts of the Chancellor's proposals
14:11 - The former Chancellor, Alastair Darling has called the spending review a piece of "political sophistry" that has deceived the whole country
14:07 - Philip Hammond (Transport Secretary) has told the BBC that "nobody will be better off on benefits than if they were working" and that findings have proved that the top 20% of earners will pay the most
14:03 - Overall the Spending Review seems to completely over shadow the Browne Review - almost as if they are ashamed of its recommendations
14:00 - An important point to notice about the spending review is that most of the cuts are spread over four or five years to 2014/2015. These cuts are going to affect everyone over a long period of time, not just a year or two
13:58 - Osborne has pulled up Alan Johnson for doing a complete U- Turn on the NHS and ring fencing it which Johnson says he now supports, but said in April that he didn't
13:55 - Osborne believes that the Opposition's response to his review are "nonsense and ridculous"
13:51 - Johnson says that " the rush to cut the deficit endangers the economy" supporting a more gradual reduction securing growth
13:49 - Johnson is appealing to the middle and espeically lower paid income families - traditional Labour territory
13:48 - Johnson agrees with ring fencing key services such as the NHS, but still no mention of higher education from him
13;46 - Most of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat backbenchers are finding Johnson's retaliation to the Chancellor's announcement a complete joke
13:43 - Johnson has criticised the review for not focussing on Ireland, Wales and Scotland and too much on England - calling Osborne a "one country Tory".
13:41 - Johnson: "spending review runs the risk of ruing the country" and seems to be appealing to the Liberal Democrats.
13;36 - Alan Johnson (Shadow Chancellor) has heavily criticised the spending review saying it is "ideologically objective" and that it has "peddled a whole series of myths to the public". He is obviously forgetting that it was his party that introduced VAT rises and other increased taxes when they were in government.
13:35 - Osborne - "A stronger Britain for all"
13:35 - Cuts of 19% overall rather than 20% predicted.
13:34 - Osborne says that the Spending Review will "bring sanity to public finance"
13:32 - Pupil premium announced of £2.5 billion for primary school children and an increase in school places. Osborne is focussing far more on primary education than on higher education.
13:30 - £530 million will be spent on bring superfast broadband to rural areas
13:29 - £9.3 billion provision will remain for the Olympics.
13;28 - Investment in adult apprenticeships will help 75,000 new people into training by the end of the four year spending review period
13:27 - Science budgets within universities can find £324million by efficiency savings
13:23 - Free entrance to some museums and galleries will remain in place
13:18 - Graduate tax is "unworkable" and Browne's recommendations support the "jewel in our crown" of Education
13:06- On welfare benefits Osborne has emphasized the general rule of thumb that the coalition has established; 'it will always pay to work'.
13:06 - The ministry of defence budget will have reached £33.5 billion in 2014/15 a saving of 80%
13;04 - The deal with people already in social housing will remain unchanged but new tenants will be offered rents at around 80% of the market rate. The payoff for this will be far shorter contracts so people may be moving around far more. The Chancellor has also proposed that in the next four years they will build up to 150,000 new affordable homes - good news for students and graduates trying to get onto the property ladder
12;57 - Police spending to be cut by 16% but Osborne has said that he wants to avoid a reduction in their visibility - in other words having more bobbies on the beat. Also plans for a new prison with 1,500 places have been deferred making prison spaces even tighter
12:55- 'There is nothing fair about running huge budget deficits and burdening other generations with debts we are not willing to pay.'- George Osborne
12;42 - Nick Clegg has only just arrived at the House of Commons, twelve minutes into the Chancellor's speech
12:40 - Royal household spending to fall by 14%
12:30- This weeks PMQ's have finished, opening the floor for George Osborne to make his announcement.