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White Paper stifles student choice and growth of the sector

Innovative studentsIn response to the Governments’ consultation on the Higher Education White Paper, ‘Students at the heart of the system’, University Alliance has argued that student choice is likely to be constrained and in the long term, the economy will take a hit if the system cannot grow.

Ambitions to achieve sustainability, drive a quality student experience and deliver social mobility will never fully be realised unless we can achieve total growth of the system.

 

Libby Hackett, Director of University Alliance said:

“There is growing consensus across the sector about the impact these changes will have on student choice and growth of the system. We have seen very strong responses from Universities UK and the 1994 Group, both of whom we agree with. By attempting to introduce dynamism to the system through proposals such as “core and margin” and uncapping AAB number controls, the Government will actually stifle choice and access, particularly for those from less advantaged backgrounds. This could have a massively negative impact on social mobility and our economic stability in the long run.

“The sector is calling for an end to short-termism; that Ministers look longer term to explore how total growth of the sector can be achieved. Research has shown that the UK’s global competitiveness requires more graduates in the economy, and current student numbers will not suffice.

“We are falling behind our global competitors who are continuing to increase their proportion of graduates in the workforce in order to innovate and grow their economies. In an increasingly competitive global and innovation-led economy, we cannot afford to ignore the importance of graduates in achieving future growth.”

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Notes to editors:

  • University Alliance response to the White Paper can be accessed here.
  • In 2000, the UK was 3rd amongst top industrialised nations in terms of the proportion of young people graduating.  In 2008 we had fallen to 15th position as competitor countries invest at a faster rate.
  • University Alliance Website: www.unialliance.ac.uk
  • For further information contact: ahenry@unialliance.ac.uk | 07833 236 629.
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