24 Feb 2022
MillionPlus, the Association for Modern Universities, has today (24 February) commented on the government’s announcement of higher education reforms.
Rachel Hewitt, Chief Executive of MillionPlus, said:
“As was probably always likely, the government’s response to Augar is a mixed bag. Having long called for a more flexible funding system, we welcome the government’s commitment to delivering a Lifelong Learning Entitlement and are committed to working with them so that this potentially transformative policy bears fruit. An increase to the teaching grant is also good news, though a comb through the small print is yet required to get to the bottom of the detail.
“However, it must be recognized that a continued freeze in university fees, while inflation rises rapidly, means universities are again being asked to do more with less. As we are emerging from a two-year pandemic and with the government geared towards levelling up left behind towns, cities and regions, this could risk stifling universities when instead the government should be supporting them to thrive, for the sake of the entire country.
“While it is encouraging that exceptions are to be made for mature students, any minimum grade threshold for accessing higher education will fall hardest on those from areas of greater deprivation and lower participation, the very areas the government has pledged to level up. For prospective students who have followed non-traditional paths into higher education, or indeed have been failed by the schools system, there should be a pathway still open to them into higher education. This should be fundamental.”
Notes to editors