Press release

MillionPlus responds to GE2019 result

13 Dec 2019

MillionPlus, The Association for Modern Universities, today offered congratulations to the Prime Minister on a successful election campaign.

Addressing the agenda for the incoming government, Professor Thirunamachandran, Chair of MillionPlus and Vice-Chancellor, Canterbury Christ Church University said:

“MillionPlus and its member universities stand ready to work closely with the Conservative government to meet its aspiration of providing ‘opportunity to the nation’. Modern Universities are central to training and educating the much-needed public service professionals that keep the heart of the UK beating, including the additional police officers, teachers and nurses promised in the Conservative manifesto.

The government’s commitment to transform regions and communities through new investment in research and innovation is a genuine opportunity for the country. The emphasis from government on translational research and place presents a chance for modern universities to use their close links with SMEs to boost the productivity of less advantaged areas. How research can be used in the real world is central to creating a positive impact for industry and our public services.”

Professor Rama Thirunamachandran, added:

“Ambitions to grow higher technical education further are shared by modern universities, not least because we provide a third of such provision already. Modern Universities are also unique in that they offer multiple pathways into education, from technical education, degree apprenticeships to part-time study and mature learners.

“MillionPlus is keen to continue our work with the government on models to improve access to higher education and HE level apprenticeships. A new National Skills Fund will give the country a real chance to help people upskill and reskill as the economy grows during the 2020s. Modern universities work increasingly closely with FE colleges in delivering skills and education in their communities. So much so that 13 colleges are already part of MillionPlus university organisations.

“Ensuring we attract talented students and skilled people into the UK after Brexit will be critical for our future prosperity. The flexibility shown by the government on post-study work should be matched by further reforms to the wider visa system to attract high numbers of valued students from Europe and internationally.”

The MillionPlus Chair concluded:

“The decade ahead can be the ‘soaring twenties’ if the UK supercharges the skills and innovation of its people by harnessing and embracing the role and potential of modern universities.”


Notes to editors

  1. For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact Dan Blows on 0203 927 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. The MillionPlus election manifesto and its six pledges can be found here
  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. #ThinkModern: facts and stats