As reported on the Financial Times website, science departments will be hardest hit by cuts in academic science jobs as universities are forced to react to the squeeze in public funding. This has sparked concern that the UK economy will face a shortage of scientific expertise.
A recent survey conducted by the Financial Times of over 40 universities revealed that there is plans to make cuts in science, technology, engineering and mathematics departments in universities across the country. A total of 99 of 131 academic institutions will face a cut in funding in the year 2011, according to the Higher Education Funding Council for England.
The cuts in university science jobs reflect the difficulties in maintaining subjects which require extensive facilities. Richard Lambert, Director General of the CBI stated “Science subjects are more expensive to teach than arts subjects, but they are of huge value to the economy.”
The results of the survey have brought about fears among business leaders and scientists that Britain could have insufficient science experts in its future scientific workforce to drive economic growth forward. Gail Cardew, head of programmes at the Royal Institution, one of Britain’s most renowned scientific bodies, said: “By 2014 there will be more than 2m extra jobs which need Stem skills. Where are these people going to come from if universities are going to make cuts in science teaching?”
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