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University Alliance asks: what is the vision for the future?

Libby Hackett, Director of University Alliance, comments on the Government’s response to the Higher Education White Paper, “Students at the Heart of the System”,

“We cautiously welcome the Government’s promises to put in place a level playing field for for-profit providers and bring them within the regulatory controls for institutions receiving public funding. Our greater concerns are about the medium and long-term sustainability of a system that is incredibly expensive for Government in terms of the upfront payment of fees and subsidies. The consequence of this is that the UK is the only OECD country reducing the number of places available at university at a time when all evidence suggests we need to better equip our workforce if we are going to innovate and grow our way out of this difficult economic climate. This is why University Alliance is running its futures project, university_vision, to take a serious look at the long-term future of higher education in the UK.

“Many of the issues in the Government’s White Paper response continue to only deal with the here and now. While this is obviously critical,
there is not enough thinking about what the future is going to be for our universities. Politicians and policy-makers have got themselves locked into a cycle of worrying about numbers and money, not allowing them to be innovative or creative in their thinking. Changes to the way universities are funded are yet to lead to genuine change and progress of the sector as a whole. This is why we have launched a new project, university_vision, to get some of this thinking going.”

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Press contact – Sam Jones, 07767673982

1. university_vision is a new project led by University Alliance to establish a sector-led vision to ensure that our universities are able to sustain their global competitiveness and deliver the knowledge, networks and places of the future. The project is sponsored by Hewlitt-Packard and The Education Foundation. See www.universityvision.org.uk for more info.

2. The BIS response can be found here.

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