Maintaining strong relationships with the government and parliament in Westminster helps us clearly communicate the needs of our members and improves governance of UK higher education.
Our political affairs team provides direct contact between political decision makers and influencers, and the wider organisation.
We communicate UUK’s policy analysis to a political audience, pulling out politically relevant recommendations and feeding them into parliamentary activity. We also highlight the public good of our universities – for individuals, communities, the economy and society.
In a crowded space, our political affairs team makes sure the higher education sector’s concerns and ambitions are understood by the government and parliament.
Representing all parts of the UK
Our goal is not only to support the collective strength of UK-wide higher education but also celebrate national and regional differences. We work with the UK government on policies which affect the whole of the UK, and on policy areas for English universities and Northern Ireland. Meanwhile, specific work on devolved policy issues is undertaken by Universities Scotland and Universities Wales.
- Post-pandemic economic and social recovery
- Ensuring the sustainability of higher education funding
- Boosting universities’ research and innovation capabilities
- Working with employers and further education to meet local and national skills needs
- Improving access, participation and outcomes for students from disadvantaged and underrepresented backgrounds
- Inclusion, equality and diversity
- Enhancing UK universities’ position on the global stage
- Improving student and staff mental health
We also provide the secretariat for the All-Party Parliamentary University Group.
- Persuading government and political parties to adopt policies in areas that maximise universities’ local, national and global impact.
- Forging and maintaining close relationships with ministers, shadow ministers, advisors, key MPs and Peers.
- Collating and submitting impactful written evidence to select committees and briefing witnesses for giving oral evidence where appropriate.
- Ensuring our key policy priorities are raised in the House of Commons and House of Lords by briefing key parliamentarians ahead of relevant debates, and suggesting questions that will help increase our understanding of the government’s positions and inform our lobbying strategy.
- Keeping parliamentarians of all parties updated with universities’ work supporting students, driving economic prosperity and tackling social challenges through their research activities.
- Hosting events with parliamentarians to build relationships and expand their understanding of the opportunities and challenges facing universities.
- Analysing and influencing legislation to relevant Bills that enable and enhance universities’ ability to deliver on priorities such as driving social mobility and conducting world-leading research.
We also provide advice to members on political priorities and opportunities as they arise.