Press release

MillionPlus comment on the Prime Minister’s ‘Skills’ speech

29 Sep 2020

MillionPlus, the Association for Modern Universities, has today (29 September) commented on the Prime Minister’s speech on skills. 

Dr Greg Walker, Chief Executive of MillionPlus, said: 

“As the country continues to grapple with the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the need for accessible re-skilling and up-skilling opportunities will be vital and as such we welcome the government’s renewed commitment to address this agenda. 

 “As pioneers of professional, vocational and technical education at HE level, often crafted with input from employers to bring together classroom learning and workplace practice, modern universities stand ready to expand further this vital provision in every part of the country. 

“Degree apprenticeships should be at the heart of these reforms. Combining an apprenticeship with a degree is a good way of making learning portable, as the PM wishes our skills system to be. 

“Such portability will also be aided by introducing greater flexibility to the student loan system, something MillionPlus has long called for. The government should ensure that its reforms enable individuals to access financial support for standalone level 4 and 5 courses at university as well as FE colleges. This support should also be available to part-time students.” 


Notes to editors  

  1. For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact Dan Blows on 020 3927 2916 or email
  2. 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  
  3. Full text of the Prime Minister’s speech can be found here 
  4. Levelling up: investing in higher technical education at universities in England by MillionPlus is available here 
  5. 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.    
  6. Modern universities: facts and stats