University and College Union (UCU) have warned that 15,000 jobs are at risk across higher education if punitive Government funding cuts go ahead.
The union said the Government had to understand that widespread cuts would mean serious consequences and warned that a whole generation would have their dreams shattered.
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UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: "The Government is abandoning a generation who instead of benefiting from education will find themselves on the dole alongside sacked teaching staff.
"We will see planned changes and building projects put on hold, we will see our already comparatively large class sizes increase to among the biggest in the world, we will see thousands more students denied access to university as youth unemployment rises and we will see staff following them to the dole queue.
“The Government can come out with as many statements as it likes about the importance of education, how it will be protected from the recession and its own commitments to social mobility, but the hard facts and punitive cuts tell a much harsher and sadly more accurate story."