Government review is a fantastic opportunity to improve the university system for students

Government must aim to create a sustainable university funding system in England, which supports learners from all backgrounds to reach their potential.

Speaking at Universities UK’s annual conference in Sheffield, Professor Dame Janet Beer, Universities UK President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool, will say the government’s review of post-18 education and funding in England must raise aspirations, not limit them:
 
“The review provides a fantastic opportunity to improve the system for students in a number of ways.
 
“This review should offer solutions to address the long-term decline in part-time and mature student numbers. It should increase financial support for those most in need through targeted maintenance grants to reduce fears about the cost of living. It should help students move more easily between further and higher education and it should strive to improve understanding of the progressive nature of student loans and the value of a degree for students.
 
“We know our Secretary of State for Education, Damian Hinds, and Universities Minister, Sam Gyimah, are personally committed to increasing social mobility. Disadvantaged 18-year-olds in England were 82% more likely to enter university in 2017 than in 2006. So let us build on the foundations and successes already in place.   

“With increased demand by employers for higher level skills, this review should ensure that the system of funding supports learners from all backgrounds to reach their potential throughout their lifetimes, and that includes mature and part-time students as well as 18-year-olds living away from home. The review must help us continue to raise aspirations, not limit them.”
 
Notes to editors

  1. A full copy of Professor Dame Janet Beer’s annual conference speech is available.
  2. Universities UK is the collective voice of 137 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.

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

Blog

The grades u-turn caused a ripple effect throughout education – it could be catastrophic for unis

25 August 2020
From over-stretched finances to lack of space and facilities, universities are facing a perfect storm of problems.

Laptop, phone and tablet, at home studying

Covid-19 silver linings: how the pandemic has increased opportunities for disabled university students

15 July 2020
AbilityNet's Amy Low explains how new ways of working brought about by the pandemic have resulted in improvements in accessibility and inclusion for disabled university students.

News

A business is born every two hours at UK universities

28 August 2020
​University graduates start 4,000 new businesses and are responsible for supporting tens of thousands of jobs every year.

group of students looking at their results

Record numbers of 18-year-olds and applicants from disadvantaged backgrounds accepted into university

13 August 2020
UUK responds to the record numbers of 18-year-olds and applicants from disadvantaged backgrounds that have been accepted into university in 2020