Government-commissioned review of post-18 education and funding published

A UK Government-commissioned review into post-18 education and funding, led by Dr Philip Augar, has been published today (30 May 2019).

The wide-ranging report, known informally as the Augar review , contains a number of recommendations that, if implemented by a future government, would have significant ramifications for the University and the sector as a whole.

Whether, and to what extent, to implement the review’s recommendations would be a decision for the UK Government.

Adam Tickell, Vice-Chancellor, said: “While we welcome the focus on further education, apprenticeships and science, we would be very concerned if this was achieved through under-investment in other areas. All forms of education are of value to society.

“We have said for a long time that providing better financial support for certain students while they are studying is critical, so we also welcome the recommendation to reintroduce maintenance grants.

“However, the proposed fee cut to 7,500 would do nothing to help the vast majority of students. Without a cast-iron guarantee that the Treasury would replace the funding shortfall, the proposal would damage students’ education.

“Many students would actually end up paying more for their education - because they would be repaying over 40 years rather than 30 - but universities would potentially have 2-billion less to invest in teaching, mental-health support and infrastructure. This would be a cut in government spending on higher education masquerading as a gift to students, when in fact very few would benefit and the vast majority would have a poorer educational experience.

“It would push many universities into survival mode at a time when the country critically needs them to thrive.”

The 260-page Augar review was directly commissioned last year by the Prime Minister Theresa May.

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