Press release

MillionPlus comment on the Augar Review of Post-18 Education

30 May 2019

MillionPlus, the Association for Modern Universities, has commented on the Augar Review of Post-18 Education, published today (30 May).

Professor Dave Phoenix, Chair of MillionPlus and Vice-Chancellor of London South Bank University, said:

“The Augar Report should be judged by its impact on students and on the educational experience they will receive if it is implemented. The aspiration in the report to look across post-18 education and to seek new additional investment is commendable but the risk remains that funding is reduced either due to a lack of government investment or due to the redistribution of funding via central government initiatives. Universities and their students need long-term, sustainable funding at least at their current levels and failure to deliver this would be detrimental to student experience and opportunity.

“MillionPlus has called for better support for students who wish to study flexibly, so new rules to enable ‘modular’ funding might go some of the way to address this by simplifying support for part time and accelerated routes. A return of maintenance grants would certainly be a positive step, helping those who might struggle with the daily living costs to achieve their aspirations.”

Dr Greg Walker, Chief Executive of MillionPlus, said:

“Reduced investment in future generations of students would stifle our ability to rise to the challenge of boosting our productivity and creativity as a nation. It would undermine those universities, including many modern universities, that make the greatest contribution to creating high-level skills in the workforce and would be a major own goal for England in meeting the needs of industry and employers.

“The government should not take up proposals in the report to bar prospective students from taking a ‘foundation’ year at university. This pathway has helped thousands of people progress to higher education and study for a degree who might not otherwise have moved up and on. This route will not be easily replaced by other provision – all this would do is hit opportunities for social mobility for those with aspiration. The government should engage widely with higher education stakeholders and prospective students about the next steps.”


Notes to editors

  1. For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact Dan Blows on 020 3927 2916 or email
  2. The MillionPlus submission to the Augar panel ‘Guaranteeing sustainable investment in higher education’ is available 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 universities: key facts 2018