Education budget cuts pose grave risk to UK industry - IChemE

21 October 2010 16:08  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Education cuts announced as part of UK chancellor George Osborne’s spending review on 20 October pose a grave risk to industry, David Brown, CEO of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE), said on Thursday.

Brown said that cuts to the education budget could harm the UK’s production of university graduates.

“If we can’t produce enough talented scientists and engineers each year to meet industry demand, inward investment will suffer and our economic prosperity will be further weakened,” Brown said.

In addition, Brown said that the decision to freeze the science budget in cash terms would also mean that tough times are ahead; however, he cautiously welcomed the news, saying that things could have been considerably worse.

“The UK is now one of the only countries in the industrialised world that is not increasing its investment in science and research. That means we need to think very carefully about how the money is spent and it must be increasingly directed towards applications that UK engineering can translate into commercial gain,” he added.

The UK energy and climate change budget was also cut by 5% and Brown urged caution on where the savings might be made.

“…slashing investment in low-carbon technology now will cost more money in the longer term,” he said.

($1 = €0.72)

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By: Franco Capaldo
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