“The debate is too narrowly focused on what universities can do to widen participation and not on the outcomes of those students after graduation.”
University Alliance welcomes the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) report on 2015 – 2016 access agreements published today.
Commenting on the report, Vice Chancellor of the University of the West of England and Chair of University Alliance, Professor Steve West, said:
“Great strides have been made in ensuring more students than ever before can go on to higher education, whatever their background.
“However the debate is too narrowly focused on what universities can do to widen participation and not on the outcomes of those students after graduation. Employers are demanding more from their graduates with modern jobs increasingly requiring employees to be forward thinking, problem solving and entrepreneurial. Alliance universities are responding to this by stepping up their collaboration with employers. When it comes to both the quality and job-readiness of our graduates, Alliance universities are competing with the best in the world.
“There is also an urgent need to examine how to put the higher education sector funding system as a whole on a sustainable footing, as demonstrated by the recent coverage of a possible U-turn by the Business Secretary Vince Cable on selling off the student loan book and the BIS Select Committee’s report earlier in the week. The proceeds of this sale were earmarked to pay for the increase in student numbers in the early years of the cap being lifted after 2015-2016. We call on the government not to retreat on its plans to lift the cap – poorer students will always be disadvantaged in a system that restricts places.”