Back to press releases

NUS respond to the House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts’ inquiry into higher education market

Friday 15 June 2018

NUS is today responding to ‘the higher education market’, a report from the House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts’ which aims to examine whether the government’s higher education policies are feasibly delivering for the sector, students and the public, based on terms set out by themselves.

Reacting to the findings, NUS’ Vice President (Higher Education) Amatey Doku, who gave and submitted oral evidence to the inquiry, said:

“While we welcome the report’s conclusions that higher education is unable to function as a market, and that information, advice and guidance is insufficient for the needs of applicants, it is clear that the solution is not a better-regulated market, but a rethink of the fundamentals of the market agenda altogether. This would truly be regulating in the interests of students.

“There is a real danger that channelling information, advice and guidance along the lines of salary calculators will narrow the focus of higher education too much to merely a transaction in return for a job; this does not capture the full experience that a student gains from higher education. 

“The postcode lottery of education success remains simply unacceptable, and there must be sector-wide action to combat this. However, without adequate funding for students and in particular maintenance grants, it is a significant concern that this will remain unattainable.”


Please note that the House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts’ report, ‘the higher education market’, is under strict embargo until 00:01 Friday 15 June 2018.

For further comment please contact NUS Press office on or 07866 695 010.


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.