Communication from the Vice-Chancellor in June 2010
After this week's budget and the extensive media coverage which has followed, I felt it was important to write to you all about what the announcements mean for The University of Sheffield.
First of all, I would like reassure you that the announced average 25% cut in public spending (other than health and overseas aid) over the next few years was a figure in line with planning scenarios we have been considering for some time here at the University. While it is too soon to talk about specifics and certainly there are significant challenges ahead, I remain confident about this University's ability to respond to these government forecasts in ways which will preserve our core values of excellence in both teaching and research. We continue to take action to focus on our priorities and use our resources efficiently, and this calm determination will hold true over the coming months.
Of course, the country does face a severe economic environment in relation to public funding, all of which causes very real worries for staff and students -likely changes in university funding and fees, concerns in relation to pensions, and the role of private higher education providers in a more open market. All these issues are likely to be debated long and hard over the summer ahead of the October Comprehensive Spending Review. I can assure you that I will be working closely with colleagues within and beyond the university sector to ensure that our crucial contribution as a global top 100 University is valued by those who will be taking difficult decisions.
I am proud that at the University of Sheffield we have not allowed a sense of doom and gloom to deflect us from our ambitions. I continually see evidence of our strengths, such as the very reassuring fact that our research income has significantly increased from both charities and industry over the past 12 months. This is a real achievement in today's climate, and shows that our confidence is well-founded.
So as we end the Semester, I would like to thank you all for your continued hard work and support of me personally. We continue to offer education of the highest standard and, despite tough times for UK higher education, we will hold fast to our core purposes.