Commenting on the National Audit Office’s report on the higher education market, University Alliance Chief Executive Maddalaine Ansell said:
“Today’s report makes some important points about the development of the HE market: it is right to highlight the need for more comprehensive independent advice and guidance for students and the worrying fall in the number of mature and part time learners. University Alliance has pushed for better support for mature students and for a comprehensive system of careers advice for every stage of life. The government’s forthcoming review of tertiary education must fully examine these issues.
“Graduate salaries need to be understood in the context of significant regional variations in the UK’s highly unbalanced economy and the importance of careers like nursing which play a hugely vital role in society but are not among the highest paid. Equally, family background and parental income is still the single biggest determinant of earnings, not the university which someone attends.
“Alliance universities are proud to have done the heavy lifting in widening access to the life-changing opportunities which studying at university offers and ensuring everyone can succeed once they get there. Alliance universities recruit over 28% of the sector’s students from low participation neighbourhoods and our courses are closely aligned with the needs of industry and employers with over 40% being accredited by professional bodies.”