Press release

MillionPlus outlines priorities for the government’s review of post-18 education

19 Feb 2018

MillionPlus, the Association for Modern Universities, has today (19 February) welcomed the review into post-18 education announced by the Prime Minister and called on the government to prioritise some key elements.

The government’s review should look at:

  • Ensuring that the university funding system is sustainable in the long-term, for both universities and students;
  • Encouraging more flexibility to cater to students from all backgrounds and ages, studying in whatever manner suits them best, particularly part-time study;
  • Better support for living costs for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, and;
  • Avoiding an artificial government imposition of variable fees based on course or institution-type

Dr Greg Walker, Chief Executive of MillionPlus, said:

“The review announced by the Prime Minister is a welcome one that affords the government an opportunity to review the operation of the current system in the round. We look forward to working with Philip Augar and his expert panel on the evidence for the review. It’s right that fees and funding for HE is looked at in the context of all post-18 learning, despite the real differences in underlying costs between the HE, FE and work-based learning sectors relating to the student experience and the academic environment.

“The emphasis in the Prime Minister’s speech on ending outdated notions of academic vs technical study is also to be warmly welcomed: modern universities are at the vanguard of those HE providers that offer the most extensive portfolio of work-relevant and professionally accredited courses.

“The review is an opportunity to address the major deficiencies in the current fees system: shortcomings that have led to a collapse in part-time and mature study in England and real pressure on the finances of less well-off students from the abolition of maintenance grants. I welcome the Prime Minister’s confirmation that part-time study and living costs are very much in scope, but hints that variable fees may be government-imposed according to questionable criteria are clearly concerning.

“Whatever system the review panel recommends, it also needs to be sufficiently robust to ensure that English universities are sustainable in the long-term and maintain their world-leading reputation.”


Notes to editors

  1. MillionPlus is the Association for Modern Universities. More information can be found at
  2. Modern universities: key facts 2017
  3. For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact Dan Blows on 020 7717 1658 or email