Press release

MillionPlus outlines key priorities ahead of Autumn Statement

10 Nov 2022

MillionPlus, the Association for Modern Universities, has today (10 November) called on the Government to reaffirm or commit to five policies ahead of the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s Autumn Statement on 17 November, including on R&D, funding and the Lifelong Loan Entitlement.

MillionPlus calls on the Government to:

  • Recommit to investing £20bn every year in research and development by 2024-25.
  • As a minimum, maintain the current unit of resource for higher education to ensure universities can help to deliver the skills agenda.
  • Implement an immediate increase to maintenance funding for students, ideally in the shape of maintenance grants, and ensure students are included in any further cost-of-living measures introduced.
  • Invest in high quality placements in the NHS, social work and teaching to enable a pipeline of skilled workers throughout our public services.
  • Recommit to the Lifelong Loan Entitlement and ensure we have a skills system that delivers for people and for economic growth.

Professor Rama Thirunamachandran, Chair of MillionPlus and Vice-Chancellor of Canterbury Christ Church University, said:

“Modern universities make up over half of the UK’s higher education sector, educating over a million students a year and make a huge contribution to their regional economies as anchor institutions, generating £17bn in expenditure-related gross value add (GVA) as a result of their economic activity. These institutions are also drivers of social mobility and an important cog in the Government’s levelling up agenda.

“While it comes at a difficult time, with myriad factors having an impact on public and household finances, this Autumn Statement offers an opportunity for the Government to demonstrate its seriousness when it comes to skills, levelling up and growth through R&D. We believe the measures outlined are reasonable and proportionate and would go a long way to demonstrating that these agendas remain central to government ambitions.”


  1. MillionPlus’s Autumn Statement 2022 is available here
  2. MillionPlus’s Learning with the lights off: students and the cost-of-living crisis policy briefing is available here
  3. For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact Dan Blows on 020 3927 2916 or email
  4. 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
  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 2022