Libby Hackett, Chief Executive of University Alliance, said:
“The 2012 reforms were an important step in terms of securing the immediate future of our universities at a time of increasing economic uncertainty. At this stage, however, we need to take a bold and ambitious look at the long-term future of higher education and ask whether the current system is fit for purpose. A particular challenge we need to address urgently is the worrying impact the reforms have had on postgraduate and part-time recruitment, which are in direct conflict with the projected need of our economy and society.
“University Alliance is exploring more radical changes to financing a truly diverse and flexible higher education system in order to keep the UK on the front foot in an increasingly competitive global market. We know from Sir Michael Barber’s report, as well as our own university_vision project that has been looking at the long-term future of higher education, that we can expect an ‘avalanche of change’ over the next few decades for higher education.
“Rapid technological change, economic uncertainty and increased globalisation will bring significant changes to the way we’ll work and, necessarily, the way we equip graduates for the future. Graduate skills will be increasingly in demand as the ‘hour glass’ labour market is embedded and changes to the nature of employment will drive demand to dip in and out of higher education at different levels, at different stages.
“It is important that we are bold in considering new systems that would put the sector on a sustainable footing for the long-term whilst ensuring higher education is affordable, and a true partnership between Government and students.
Media contacts, including enquiries about speaking to Libby Hackett
- Andrew Henry, Communications Manager (Andrew@www.unialliance.ac.uk) | 07833 236 629.
- Sam Jones, Head of Communications (Sam@www.unialliance.ac.uk) | 07767 673 982.
Notes to editor
University Alliance website: www.unialliance.ac.uk
Embargoed copy of the report can be obtained by contacting Liz McCarty (tel 0117 931 7431) or Philip Walker (tel 0117 931 7363) at HEFCE.
University Alliance is a non-partisan, non-political organisation working to promote, safeguard and sustain the public benefit delivered by universities together with our members.