University Teacher Training Courses At Risk
UK – On the 16th of January, lecturers leaders in the UK university sector predicted that many universities will have no other option but to discontinue teacher training courses in 2012. This will result in a drop in the number of trained teachers as well as wide-spread loss of jobs.
The reason for the drop in the number of university teacher training courses is linked to the move toward a system which is based on school-based teacher training. The administrative body which is responsible for teacher training, the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA), added that the number of available positions for secondary school teachers at a trainee level would fall.
Universities are also envisaging a drop 5% to 6% drop in the number of applicants to these courses in general in university which is, to a great extent, due to the higher tuition fees. This represents around 25,000 fewer students.
Teaching union officials have made it clear that the loss of jobs which were in teacher training is the area of greatest concern, with the University and College Union’s general secretary expressing that job losses will occur in every university in which teacher training is undertaken.
Higher education centres are having to prepare for a changing environment in terms of applications for 2012. Manchester University, for example, has experienced a fall in the number of applicants for 2012 entry by nearly 5,000. Meanwhile, the University of Bedfordshire experienced a 7.9% decline in their applications. This trend is also biassed along subject lines, with arts and humanities experiencing a 14.6% drop.
The issue of the cost of education will become a very difficult issue for the British Government. The system of student loans which is used at the moment means that any money still owed 30 years after the student took their education will be written off. This, as predicted by the investment managers Skandia, will mean that a significant quantity of the debt will be cancelled, this could cost the government £9bn every year.
These changes may mean that the government will have to reassess their policies to make it so that a smaller drain is levied on the public finances. Overall, these figures and predictions represent uncertain years ahead for the UK teacher training and education system.