Press release

MillionPlus welcomes Gavin Williamson and Jo Johnson to new ministerial roles

25 Jul 2019

MillionPlus, the Association for Modern Universities, today (25 July) welcomes Gavin Williamson MP and Jo Johnson MP to their new roles as Secretary of State for Education and Minister of State at BEIS and the DfE covering universities and science.

Dr Greg Walker, Chief Executive of MillionPlus, said:

“We congratulate Gavin Williamson and Jo Johnson on their appointments to such pivotally important positions. Modern universities, with the contribution they make to the nation’s prosperity and social mobility, will play a central role in helping to meet the government’s ambitions on boosting productivity and sharing prosperity across communities and regions.

“We look forward to continued strong engagement with both government departments dealing with education and industrial strategy. The new Ministers doubtless face a real challenge to ensure that the UK stays engaged in critical European research, innovation and student mobility programmes as the cabinet faces key decisions on what form of Brexit to pursue.”

Commenting on the return of Jo Johnson to the universities brief, Dr Walker said:

“It’s good to see a HE Minister with experience and knowledge of the university sector in the role at such a critical time. His experience means Jo Johnson is equipped to hit the ground running, to grapple with the opportunities and challenges the UK faces from day one in the job.”


  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