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Jo Johnson’s Higher Education announcements do not address student concerns, says NUS

Thursday 20 July 2017

The National Union of Students (NUS) has responded to today’s speech by Jo Johnson, the Minister for Universities, on ‘securing value for money for students in higher education.’

Amatey Doku, NUS Vice President (Higher Education) said:

“Mr. Johnson’s announcements today were a desperate defence of a broken system. Announcements of student contracts, a new system for measuring graduate earnings, subject level rankings and some vague guidance on Vice Chancellors’ pay are all attempts to dress up a flawed system. We appreciate the government’s recognition that student’s needs must be met by the education system, but we are travelling down a road that students do not want to be on at all.

“The minister’s vision of higher education is seeing our world-class university system being treated in the same way as the NHS. This is nothing short of hypocritical from a government who can find £1bn to bribe the DUP to prop them up, yet refuse to invest in things that will benefit society.

“We have raised concerns that students are struggling to cover their living costs while at university.  Poorer students are dropping out at a far higher rate than their richer counterparts; a fact which flies in the face of any claims that the current system is working for those from lower income families. 

“Education benefits all of society: the value of higher education is not in how much an individual can earn off the back of it, but in a highly skilled workforce that allows us to compete nationally and bring about economic growth. The government’s approach to education funding consistently fails to recognise this.”

ENDS

For further comment please contact NUS Press office:
pressoffice@nus.org.uk
07866 695 010

Notes 

The National Union of Students is a voluntary membership organisation which makes a real difference to the lives of students and its member students' unions.

We are a confederation of 600 students' unions, amounting to more than 95 per cent of all higher and further education unions in the UK. Through our member students' unions, we represent the interests of more than seven million students. We promote, defend and extend the rights of students and develop and champion strong students’ unions.