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Response to minister’s plans for higher education reform

​Universities UK responded today to plans by the minister to make further reforms to the higher education system in England. They include proposals to encourage more universities to offer fast-track, two-year degrees. 

Responding to the speech by Universities Minister Jo Johnson at Universities UK today, Dame Julia Goodfellow, President of Universities UK and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kent, said: “Proposals to encourage even more flexible modes of higher education delivery is good news if it helps meet the needs of a diverse range of students and employers and that quality is assured.

“Several universities have been offering two-year, fast-track degrees for a number of years, but demand has been limited under the current system. As the minister acknowledges, the three-year undergraduate degree will remain the preferred option for many students. But if changes can be made to the funding and fees system in England, that help increase the flexibility of provision and are in the interest of students, this is a good thing. 

“The amendments introduced by the minister to the Higher Education and Research Bill are a very positive step and show the government has listened to the concerns of the higher education sector around academic standards and the independence of universities. 

“The amendments to the government's plans for a Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) are also to be welcomed. We are pleased that concerns we expressed about the time frames for introducing a subject-level TEF and the need for a more rigorous and thorough lessons-learned exercise are being acted upon.”

Key Contacts

Jo Hindle

Jo Hindle

Head of Media
Universities UK

Luke Lambert

Luke Lambert

Press and Social Media Officer
Universities UK

Clara Plackett

Clara Plackett

Senior Press and Social Media Officer
Universities UK

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