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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.

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