University Alliance: Higher education and research priorities for the 2017 General Election

Ahead of the General Election on 8 June, University Alliance sets out higher education and research priorities for the next government.

In line with the objectives of a UK-wide industrial strategy, universities play a crucial role in providing people with the academic, technical and professional skills they need to succeed in a changing modern economy. They do this alongside, and in collaboration with, schools, further education institutions and industry. The next government should recognise and support the role that universities play in providing learners from a wide range of backgrounds with advanced technical and vocational skills throughout their working lives.

The government should ensure the UK is an attractive destination for bright minds from Europe and the rest of the world. International students and staff boost everyday spending in university towns up and down the country, enrich the academic environment, and create long-term links with export markets across the globe. Immigration policy that has the effect of limiting the UK’s international competitiveness will only benefit other countries and harm the UK economy.

The government should develop a balanced portfolio approach to funding excellence in research and innovation, capturing a broad scope and spread of activities – from big science through to small-scale interactions between universities and local businesses, driving job creation and productivity across the whole of the UK. The government can further secure Britain’s future as a high tech, high growth economy by committing to a long-term R&D spending target of 3-5% of GDP.

Commenting, University Alliance Chief Executive Maddalaine Ansell said:

“Whatever the outcome of the general election, the most pressing challenge facing the next government will be to build a strong economy and a fair society.

“Alliance Universities stand ready to play their part. We design courses with employers to make sure they are relevant and constantly innovate to keep them fit for a changing world. We excel at research with impact – supporting new technologies and addressing the challenges of today’s society. We offer world-class research and development to businesses of all sizes and connect knowledge and people from across the world to the cities and regions of the UK.

“The next government should commit to providing the regulatory and funding environment in which we can most effectively provide education and opportunity, create and exploit knowledge and attract investment and talent.”

Notes for Editors

Read our priorities for the 2017 election here or click on the image above.

Further reading