Supporting universities must be a top priority for the next prime minister

​The next prime minister has a golden opportunity to deliver jobs, regional growth and improve life chances across the UK by working with universities.

To strengthen the economy and drive social mobility, Universities UK has called on the next prime minister to pledge support to the UK’s universities, which generate £95 billion for the economy and create more than 940,000 jobs across the nation.

Universities UK is highlighting five policy issues that the next Conservative party leader should support if universities are to maximise their positive impact economically, socially and culturally and continue to rank as global leaders.

  • Immigration – the removal of barriers to recruiting and retaining international students and staff.

  • Student experience – including committing to promoting policies to encourage access to university and supporting student mental health and wellbeing outcomes.

  • Science, research and innovation – a commitment to meeting – or beating – research and development investment targets to enable continued excellence in these fields.

  • Sustainable funding – universities must have sustainable funding to continue world-class teaching, delivered in a way which supports continued student mobility across the UK. Funding cuts would negatively affect opportunity and impact all four nations of the UK and overseas.

  • Brexit – an effective post-Brexit settlement must be reached, avoiding a ‘no-deal’ departure and ensuring continued partnerships and exchange between the UK and its EU partners.

Alistair Jarvis, Chief Executive of Universities UK, said: “Our universities, their students and staff are vital to the UK’s future success. Policies to support and enhance the positive impact of universities should be priorities for the next prime minister.

“With the right policies, the new prime minister will have the opportunity to drive economic growth and social mobility by supporting universities to create jobs, enhance productivity and improve lives.”

Notes

  1. The complete document of asks for the next prime minister can be read, here

  2. Universities UK is the collective voice of 136 universities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Its mission is to create the conditions for UK universities to be the best in the world; maximising their positive impact locally, nationally and globally. Universities UK acts on behalf of universities, represented by their heads of institution. Visit: www.universitiesuk.ac.uk  

Key Contacts

Steven Jefferies

Steven Jefferies

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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