The Guardian: Sustainable funding for students

Libby Hackett, Chief Executive of University Alliance, features in a letter to the Guardian calling for the Government to urgently examine how we fund the higher education sector.

Recent coverage of a U-turn by the business secretary, Vince Cable, on selling off the student loan book (Cable risks new coalition rift by scrapping student loans sale, 21 July) shows that the government must now urgently examine how to put funding for the higher-education sector on a sustainable footing, with a better student loan design that’s not just based on selling off the loans book.

With the imminent lifting of the cap on student numbers after 2015-16 and as universities start recruitment programmes to fill an extra 60,000 undergraduate places, University Alliance warns that we are in danger of creating an unsustainable funding system that could result in cuts to student places or underinvestment in high-quality programmes. Ensuring that these additional places are funded sustainably is crucial for students, universities and the UK: a degree is still by far the best route, especially during this difficult climate, for all young people entering the job market. It is vital we keep our eye on the bigger picture – the far-reaching contribution that graduates bring and will continue to bring to the UK economy and society.

Libby Hackett, Chief executive, University Alliance

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