Press release

million+ responds to Ed Miliband’s speech on technical degrees

08 Jul 2014

The university think-tank million+ has responded to the speech by Ed Miliband on 8 July announcing that a Labour Government would promote more technical degrees. However, the think-tank has said that the next government, whatever its colour, should build on the work that universities are already doing to deliver professionally and technically focused courses.

Professor Michael Gunn, Vice-Chancellor of Staffordshire University and Chair of the university think-tank million+ said

“Modern universities are well-equipped to respond to this agenda and technical degrees may well attract more people to the advantages of being a graduate and help develop the higher apprenticeship route with which many universities are already engaged.”

“However, there is now a competition about vocational education between the political parties, and the next Government whatever its colour must build on what is already being delivered by universities rather than seek to tear up the rule-book.”

“A-levels are not the only route into university and the idea that students only progress to higher education when they are 18 is out-of-date. The majority of today’s students already have a vocational qualification when they start university. A third of students enter university for the first time when they are over 21 and many degrees are professionally and vocationally focused.”

“Politicians must build the future based on a good grasp of the diversity of today’s students and the wide range of courses and qualifications that universities currently offer in order to build the high skilled economy that Britain needs.”


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
2. million+ is a leading university think-tank. More information can be found at