Press release

MillionPlus greets new flexible approach to HE – but calls for further advances

21 Jan 2021

Commenting on the government’s Skills for Jobs white paper and Interim Conclusion to the Augar Report, today (21 January) MillionPlus, the Association for Modern Universities, welcomes the flexible new approach to higher education and calls for further advances.

 Dr Greg Walker, Chief Executive of MillionPlus said:

“The UK government’s plan to create a flexible entitlement to all levels of Post-18 learning is welcome. MillionPlus has long called for greater flexibility in the access to student loans for high quality HE courses and for measures to be put in place to help people progress to, and from, level 3 study.

“The decade-long collapse in higher education opportunities for students who are over the age of 21 and who may wish to study flexibly, is a major deadweight on our economic recovery and for social mobility. The reforms in the White Paper could help recover this lost ground, particularly if mature students are better supported with their living costs when the Spending Review outcome is decided.

“Higher technical education has a home in modern universities across the country. The majority of students at modern universities are studying on work-focused programmes, equipping them for their future careers. Modern universities also work particularly closely with colleges - and so the measures to strengthen FE will be broadly welcomed.”

Looking to the future Spending Review announcement on remaining HE policy matters, Dr Walker said:

“When the final government response to the Augar Review is published, I hope that the government will flex the currently restrictive rules covering student loans for prospective students who have had some prior HE experience. Without this change - and better maintenance support for students - our shared aspiration for a step-change in delivering more flexible forms of HE study will fall short.”


  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. 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. 
  4. Modern universities: facts and stats