Press release

MillionPlus comment on the Conservatives’ apprenticeships announcement

29 May 2024

MillionPlus, the Association for Modern Universities, has today (29 May) commented on the Conservative Party’s election pledge to fund 100,000 apprenticeships by scrapping some degree courses.

Rachel Hewitt, Chief Executive of MillionPlus, said:

“Apprenticeships are an important part of the skills landscape. However, pitting them in opposition to higher education is self-defeating. Modern universities across the country already deliver excellent degree apprenticeships which combine degree level study and industry experience, meaning students can earn as they learn.

“Rather than trying to limit options for those who already go on to enter higher level study, we should be ensuring that there are strong routes for all, including the third of adults who do not hold a qualification beyond level 3.

“The Office for Students already has the power to impose monetary penalties, suspend access to funding or deregister a university if they find evidence that they are not delivering excellent outcomes in terms of students leaving their studies early or not progressing on to a graduate level job. Despite higher education quality being one of their key areas of regulatory focus, including conducting numerous quality investigations, they have not deemed it necessary to do so.

“Instead of seeking to run down and undermine Britain’s world-leading university sector at every turn, the Conservative Party should focus on policies that would help these institutions boost skills, social mobility and businesses to the betterment of Britain.”


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 by MillionPlus is 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