9 May 2012

million+ comment on Queen's Speech

The university think-tank million+ has responded to today’s Queen’s Speech and the confirmation that there will be no Higher Education Bill in the forthcoming parliamentary session.

Professor Patrick McGhee, Vice-Chancellor of the University of East London (UEL) and Chair of million+, said: “We welcome the fact that BIS are leading on an Enterprise Bill and this needs to recognise the crucial role of universities in driving growth and innovation. However, the fact that there is neither an HE Bill or a Draft HE Bill is a missed opportunity and Parliament is being denied the opportunity to regulate the HE reform agenda that the Coalition is promoting. While universities are increasingly restrained in terms of price and number controls the private sector will now be allowed to expand without effective restraint, even though it is being backed by taxpayer funding. The failure to make any parliamentary time means that there is now a democratic as well as a regulatory deficit in respect of the future of English universities and higher education.”

Notes to editors:

  1. million+ is a leading university think-tank, working to solve the complex problems in higher education www.millionplus.ac.uk. For more information please contact Victoria Mills on 0207 717 1655 or 07900 277819.