“The university sector is an international success story in terms of the quality of teaching and research. It is important that any reforms recognise this and build on that strength.
“Established universities are not standing still and are always seeking to improve what they offer to students. Providing a high-quality, world-leading experience for all students is central to what our universities do.
“It is important also that any new higher education providers awarding their own degrees or calling themselves ‘university’ meet these same, high standards.
“We are pleased that government has listened to the views of universities on their plans for a Teaching Excellence Framework. Universities will work with the government to see how this can best add value to all students, whatever their choice of subject or university.
“The focus on improving access to higher education is to be welcomed. Universities have made considerable progress in recent years to increase the numbers of students from disadvantaged backgrounds going to university. This is ongoing work, and we recognise there is still more to do.”