Uncertainty, economy and improvisation

Brian Pullan and Michele Abendstern

in A History of the University of Manchester, 1973–90

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print January 2004 | ISBN: 9780719062421
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700624 | DOI:
Uncertainty, economy and improvisation

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In 1973 came one of the great turning points in British university history, a transition into a bleaker world governed by the principles of uncertainty, economy and improvisation. The finances of most British universities lay at the mercy of politicians and were subject to capricious cuts in public spending. Their precarious situation was a consequence of the state-financed expansion of the previous decades. What taxpayers gave, their elected representatives could pare and trim when the economy wilted and crisis loomed. At the end of 1973, Edward Heath's administration withdrew guarantees that the government would protect the finances of universities against the effects of inflation. No more would it proclaim itself ready to look with sympathy upon their plight. Anthony Barber, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, reduced university income from parliamentary grants by about 10 per cent.

Keywords: British universities; parliamentary grants; university income; expansion

Chapter.  11187 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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