CATHOLIC Chaplains working in universities, polytechnics and colleges of Higher Education issued a statement last week condemning the Government's recent decision to cut its funding of universities by two per cent.
Warning that the step is "singularly short-sighted at a time of high unemployment", 25 chaplains criticised the future cuts as "causing unnecessary stress" among students and staff at institutions of Higher Education throughout England.
Of special concern, they wrote, is the fate of those students who, because of the curtailing of grant aid, will no longer be able to attend universities or colleges. One signatory, Sr Jo McGuigan of the West London Chaplaincy,
told the Catholic Herald that she has witnessed "great distress among students who see their education future now in jeopardy. We wrote the letter because a lot of students came to us and expressed their fear".
Sr Jo said that although she is not yet certain of "what kind of protest will take place in the next few years", she expects that many of those involved in Higher Education in the UK will condemn the government's action.
The majority of the chaplains who signed last week's letter work in Higher Education establishments in Wales and the North of England: both areas emerged as the most heavily hit by the proposed cuts.