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

Steven Jefferies

Steven Jefferies

Head of Media
Universities UK

Eloise Phillips

Eloise Phillips

Media Officer
Universities UK

Clara Plackett

Clara Plackett

Senior Media Officer
Universities UK

Blog

A student carrying books

Student reviews tell the story of 2020

1 March 2021
​After studying more than 16,000 student reviews, Paul Humphreys, Founder and CEO at StudentCrowd, looks at how students have been experiencing university this year.

Two people are sitting next to each other at a computer, one is teaching the other a new skill

Laying the foundations for a skills-led recovery

29 January 2021
​Following the publication of the UK government’s Skills for jobs white paper, Greg Wade, UUK’s policy lead on innovation, growth, employability and skills, studies its proposals and makes the case for a ‘whole skills approach’.

News

Students getting exam results

University admissions teams will 'pull out all the stops' this year

25 February 2021
Universities UK's response to the government's announcement on teacher assessed grades for 2021.

Female student in lab

Universities welcome UK government roadmap announcement

22 February 2021
The government's plan confirms that all students on practical and practise-based courses who require access to specialist equipment or facilities can return to universities from 8 March 2021.