Maddalaine Ansell, Chief Executive of University Alliance, responding to the Chancellor’s Spending Review, said:
“We share the Chancellor’s ambition for a high-wage, high-skilled economy with strong growth across all cities and regions. This requires world-class research, innovation and opportunities for young people and those already in the workforce to develop the higher-level skills the economy needs. So universities are central to this vision.
“We therefore welcome the decision to protect the science budget in real terms and support the next generation of researchers through an inclusive system of postgraduate loans. We are also delighted that there will be more help for part-time students and increased opportunities for those in work to retrain.
“As the only mission group which is above benchmark on both attracting and retaining students from widening participation backgrounds, we know how important this is. Given the vital role of Student Opportunity Funding, ministers must ensure that the cuts announced today do not undermine the Prime Minister’s ambitious goal of doubling the proportion of disadvantaged young people entering higher education by 2020. We look forward to working with BIS and HEFCE to ensure that the remaining funding is targeted as effectively as possible.”