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ERIC Number: EJ994265
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Apr-29
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
Europe's Austerity Measures Take Their Toll on Academe
Labi, Aisha
Chronicle of Higher Education, Apr 2012
When the global financial crisis hit in 2008, it looked at first as if many European universities were going to escape the worst. Higher education has long been considered a public right and a taxpayer-financed obligation, and there was optimism that universities, which government leaders hail as drivers of economic growth, would emerge relatively unscathed. Four years in, that is no longer the case. With governments facing unyielding international pressure to reduce deficits by curbing public spending, universities in Britain, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and Portugal are suffering from their most painful cuts in decades. European universities, which on average rely on public money for nearly 75 percent of their finances, are wrestling with hiring freezes, rising tuition, and declines in campus services. Greece, which has been subjected to stringent fiscal requirements by international lenders to qualify for bailout money, has become emblematic of the worst of the crisis. And universities, along with the entire public sector, are on the receiving end of biting national austerity measures. New faculty appointments have been almost completely halted, and there are growing worries of a brain drain. Academics with established reputations who can command higher salaries abroad are increasingly succumbing to the temptation, while others are leaving academe altogether and turning to potentially more lucrative fields. The prevailing mood at universities and throughout the country is one of "demoralization." Universities cannot afford to be complacent about the effects of the cuts. While the money taken from universities does little to reduce national deficits, the sums in question do "a lot of damage" when removed from institutional budgets.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; Tel: 202-466-1000; Fax: 202-452-1033; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Greece; Italy; Portugal; Spain; United Kingdom