24 Jul 2014
The university think-tank, million+, has welcomed the report from the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) published today (24 July), showing that universities and colleges are continuing to increase their investment in work to raise aspirations and attainment for entrants to universities in England in the academic year 2015-16.
Pam Tatlow, Chief Executive of million+, said:
“Universities are committed to widening access and supporting student success, and this OFFA report confirms that they are continuing to increase their investment in 2015-16 into work which will raise aspirations and attainment by students from disadvantaged backgrounds.”
“However, this increased investment comes against a backdrop of the attempt by government to reduce HEFCE’s Student Opportunity Allocation by up to 60% earlier this year. It is through the combined investment of tuition fee income and the Student Opportunity Allocation that universities are able to support students from under-represented backgrounds to be successful in higher education. The government must ensure the student opportunity fund is not subject to further cuts so that universities which do best at promoting access to higher education retain some direct funding.”
“The announcement at the weekend to postpone the sell-off of the Student Loan Book (20 July) and the BIS Select Committee's highly critical report published on 22 July demonstrates that the government has got its sums wrong on funding higher education (which is not just about student loans for tuition fees). Whoever wins the election in May 2015 will have to look again at this policy and ensure a fair, equitable and sustainable funding system is developed which enables long-term stability and certainty for students, the taxpayer and universities."
Notes to Editors
1. For further information or to arrange an interview, contact Alan Palmer, Head of Policy and Research, million+ on 020 7717 1657 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
2. million+ is a leading university think-tank. More information can be found at www.millionplus.ac.uk.
3. The OFFA report, Access agreements for 2015-16: key statistics and analysis is published on Thursday 24 July at www.offa.org.uk/publications.