Press release

MillionPlus submission to the Autumn Spending Review

15 Nov 2016

MillionPlus, the Association for Modern Universities, has today (15 November) published Universities, enterprise, exports and innovation, its submission to the 2016 Autumn Statement.

Professor Dave Phoenix, Chair of MillionPlus and Vice-Chancellor of London South Bank University, said:

“Higher education is a major British success story, contributing billions to the economy and strengthening the UK’s cultural standing and business ties around the world.

“The Autumn Statement provides an opportunity for the government to build on these strengths and provide the investment required to enable universities to play a full part in supporting the government’s ambitions post Brexit. The Chancellor should boost the capacity of all universities to trade in the global higher education market but also provide new funding streams to support the contribution that universities can make to the industrial strategy.

“The Chancellor also has the opportunity to arrest the decline in the resources available to invest in the teaching infrastructure and provide new investment for the training and professional development of teachers and the health professions which universities help to deliver.

“The teacher shortage will not be addressed and the government’s ambitions for seven-day working in the NHS will not be delivered on the back of flat cash settlements for Health Education England and cuts in school budgets. Investment in these areas now will pay dividends in the future.”

The MillionPlus submission recommends that the Chancellor should:

  • Guarantee EU students entering universities in England in the admissions years 2018-19 and 2019-20 access to student loan funding for the duration of their course on the same terms and conditions as apply to home students
  • Increase investment in research and development to ensure the overall UK funding resource reaches 2.5% as a percentage of GDP by the end of the parliament
  • Establish a new fund for applied and translational research to support innovation in businesses, SMEs and public services and boost economic growth across the country
  • Provide targeted regional funding to support collaboration between universities and businesses or public services as part of the industrial strategy in England
  • Pledge funding for projects that are currently supported by EU structural funds
  • Underwrite additional capital investment in teaching infrastructure and facilities to achieve a target of £150m per year during the current parliament 
  • Give tax breaks for employers to support investment in upskilling and professional development to complement the support provided for apprenticeships
  • Provide new ring-fenced funding for placements and continuous professional development to support the training and professional development of nursing, midwifery and allied health professional students and staff already in the workforce
  • Fund multi-year allocations of places for initial teacher training (ITT) to all universities which deliver teacher education to ensure that provision is sustainable and can be planned to effectively meet local and national needs for new teachers
  • Improve the retention of teachers by providing new funding for school-university collaborations to provide a national scheme of professional development for teachers
  • Deliver a new funding initiative to boost the engagement of all UK universities in the global HE market


Notes to editors

  1. MillionPlus is the Association for Modern Universities. More information can be found at
  2. The full MillionPlus submission is available here
  3. Modern universities: key facts
  4. For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact Dan Blows on 020 7717 1658 or email