Plans to help university students from disadvantaged backgrounds announced
Universities Minister Jo Johnson has outlined Government plans to give students better value for money from their degrees by incentivising excellent teaching, greater transparency and ensuring student protection.
With a record number of students entering higher education this year, including many more starting science subjects and more from disadvantaged backgrounds than ever before, Johnson congratulated the sector on its hard work in a speech to university vice-chancellors.
However, Johnson called for more action to be taken to focus on the student experience, raise teaching standards and ensure universities welcome students from all backgrounds.
Johnson said: “We have made strong progress to open up access to higher education but I’m still concerned about low participation rates for disadvantaged white boys and we must do more to raise outcomes for those from black and minority ethnic communities.
“As a One Nation Government we want everyone to have the opportunity to work hard and reach their full potential. As Universities Minister, I hear too many stories from parents about their kids not getting enough teaching time or support from their university.
“While we have one of the best higher education sectors in the world, I want to make sure everyone who invests in a degree feels they are getting value for money.”
In order to help improve the representation of disadvantaged groups in higher education, the Universities Minister also announced a new agreement with UCAS to publish data on the outcomes of the admissions process.
This change is hoped to double the proportion of students from disadvantaged backgrounds progressing to higher education by 2020 compared with 2009 and secure a twenty per cent increase in black and ethnic minority students going to university.
The Green Paper will place teaching at the heart of the university experience, with measures designed to enhance contact time with students. By bringing a sharper focus on the quality of teaching, the Teaching Excellence Framework will provide incentives for those that improve their teaching, including the ability to raise their tuition fees in line with inflation.
Use previously unavailable data from UCAS to better understand how students’ background, prior attainment and course choices impact on access to higher education, particularly among young people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds
Deregulate the system to improve competition and give students more choice.