Press release

Back modern universities to help build a modern Britain, says MillionPlus

25 Mar 2024

With proper backing from the next Government, modern universities can help build a modern Britain, the Association for Modern Universities, MillionPlus says today (25 March) as it launches its general election manifesto.

Building a Modern Britain outlines prospective policy solutions to address a number of urgent issues across five priority areas.

In summary:

  • Work with modern universities to deliver the essential public services workforce on which the country depends.
  • Put modern universities at the very heart of the skills agenda in every region.
  • Acknowledge, value and invest in innovative and impactful research, wherever it is found.
  • Re-affirm Great Britain’s commitment to be a world-leading destination for higher education.
  • Invest in universities and students so they have a solid foundation from which to succeed.

Graham Baldwin, Chair of MillionPlus and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Central Lancashire, said:

“In all areas, an election provides a natural opportunity to pause, take stock and evaluate where we are as a country and reappraise the direction of travel. It is no secret that universities, and the sectors they support such as the NHS, the wider education system and businesses, are heading into the election period facing some significant challenges including unprecedented financial uncertainty, with budgetary pressures on multiple fronts. This risks many of the agendas in which modern universities in particular are taking a leading role.

“The modern university agenda - training public service professionals, boosting skills, broadening access, working with enterprise, prioritising place and delivering in their regions - is an agenda for building a modern Britain. We stand ready to work with the next Government to do just that.

Rachel Hewitt, Chief Executive of MillionPlus said:

“The next Government should recognise the critical role that modern universities are playing in their local and regional communities up and down Britain in providing routes of opportunity to improve people’s life chances, boost productivity and pioneer new ways of teaching, working and carving out new industries and markets.

“In turn, we recognise the challenge that a new Government will face with finite resource available at least in the short-term. This manifesto includes a number of policies that could be considered quick wins, with little impact on public finances. Others will require a longer-term commitment and modern universities hope to work with the next Government to help deliver them in the interests of students, universities and the country.”


Notes to editors

  1. For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact Dan Blows on 020 3927 2916 or email
  2. Building a Modern Britain is attached to this email and will be available online here
  3. MillionPlus is the Association for Modern Universities in the UK, and the voice of 21st century higher education. We champion, promote and raise awareness of the essential role and impact of modern universities in the UK’s world-leading higher education sector. More information can be found at
  4. What are modern universities? Modern universities are long established centres of higher education in their communities with roots that stretch back decades, if not centuries. Many gained university title following legislation agreed by parliament in 1992. They make up almost half of the UK university sector with over a million students studying at modern universities every year.
  5. Modern university facts and stats