This week Munira met with Anthony McClaran – Vice-Chancellor of St Mary’s University and Diana Beech – CEO of London Higher.

Munira updated the university leaders on her efforts in Parliament to stop the Government’s proposed removal of the London weighting from the teaching grant which will cost London universities £64 million.

Munira said:

“This levelling down of London’s higher education will impact some of the most disadvantaged students in the country at the worst possible time. 

In Parliament, I have challenged Ministers on this discriminatory anti-London policy, and I am leading a cross party motion expressing deep concern about the Department for Education’s actions.

Cutting funding to universities like St Mary’s which educate the next generation of key workers is a terrible policy and I will continue to fight for London’s students.”

Diana Beech thanked Munira for her work in highlighting the proposed cuts and said:

“An across the board cut to London university funding threatens up to 1000 jobs in the sector and could result in the reduction of student support services, just when they are needed most.

We are particularly worried about maintaining mental health services at a time when they are under great strain due to the Covid pandemic.”   

Anthony McClaran noted the sudden nature of the cuts and how they will impact BAME students and those from poorer background most:

“St Mary’s University students are 32% BAME and 62% meet at least one of the widening participation criteria. These are the students that need the most support and will be hardest hit by these cuts.

Many of our students are from non-traditional university backgrounds, and St Mary’s University provides these students with a transformational experience, levelling up their life opportunities and graduate outcomes.  This cut will have an impact on the targeted support we can offer, at a time when we know students and young people will need more support than ever before, when we emerge from this crisis.”