Dame Julia Goodfellow, President of Universities UK and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kent, said: “The UK higher education sector is recognised around the world for its high quality teaching, learning, and rates of student satisfaction. We welcome the green paper’s emphasis on protecting the interests of students and demonstrating the value of a university education.
“The recognition of high quality teaching in our universities is a welcome step, but we must ensure that this exercise is not an additional burden for those teaching in our universities and that it provides useful information for students, parents, and employers. Universities are already improving the amount of information to students about courses to ensure that their experience matches their expectations.
“The diversity of providers and the range of courses offered is one of the strengths of the UK university sector, and we support competition and choice. It is important, however, that any new higher education provider entering the market is able to give robust reassurances to students, taxpayers and government on the quality and sustainability of their courses.
“Universities have made considerable progress in recent years to increase the numbers of students from disadvantaged backgrounds going to university and graduating with a good degree. We recognise there is more to do, and Universities UK looks forward to leading the Social Mobility Advisory Group announced in the green paper to build on progress and identify best practice.
“With a wide range of issues covered in the paper, we will be considering carefully the complex, but vitally important, areas such as how funding and regulatory powers are integrated, the future of the sector bodies and their relationship to government, and how the green paper protects the autonomy of our world-class university sector.”