million+ manifesto calls for clarity from political parties on future university funding
The university think-tank million+ has launched a manifesto for universitiesto highlight the reasons whyinvestment inuniversities, science and research should be a high priorityfor the next government.
The manifesto argues that Westminster Parliament and the devolved governments of the UK should promote participation in higher education, expand the research budget and provide more direct investment in higher education to promote a world-class rather than a two tier university system. The think-tank also says that the international trade in which all UK universities engage is a jewel in the crown and calls for the visa regulations for international students to be amended and for the next government to fund a new Prime Minister's initiative to boost the recruitment of international students and the role of all UK universities in the global higher education market.
Professor Michael Gunn, Vice-Chancellor of Staffordshire University and Chair of million+ said:
“Politicians frequently discuss the future of universities in the context of their own university experience. Very often this is based on studying at a small range of universities for a three or four year degree after the completion of A-levels or Scottish Highers. This is a much narrower experience than the majority of graduates, a third of whom progress to university when they are over twenty-one.
“Instead of finding out about changes to fees and student support after the election, students, graduates and university staff need to know before they vote how political parties will fund universities and students in the future. Supporting more people to study for a degree and ensuring that all universities are funded to develop research capacity and translational research are some of the best investments that any government can make.
“Our manifesto sets out key principles but also the funding commitments that political parties will need to make to secure a world-class university system in the UK.”
The million+ manifesto calls for next government to:
- promote a world-class system of universities
- fund higher education opportunities for students of all ages and backgrounds
- enhance the unit of resource and capital funding for teaching
- expand the science and innovation budget so that the UK is in the top 10 of OECD countries for investment in research and development by 2020
- fund research infrastructure and staff capacity in all universities and moderate the concentration of research funding
- review university title and the regulation of private providers
- amend the visa regulations for international students and staff
- fund a new Prime Minister’s initiative to support all UK universities in the international market