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NUS response to government's higher education restructuring regime

Thursday 16 July 2020

Today (16th July) the UK government announced further details of their restructuring regime to support higher education providers financially effected by COVID-19.

In response, Hillary Gyebi-Ababio, NUS Vice President (Higher Education), said - 

“The need for a restructuring regime only underlines that marketisation has been a failed experiment in higher education that has harmed institutions and students alike. Students must be the first priority in any restructuring scenario. Student voice should be placed at the heart of decision making and properly-funded information, advice and guidance offered to students to help them make decisions that are best for them.

“It is not helpful for the government to insist on focusing on ‘high-value’ courses at a time when students’ futures are at stake and real people will be at the hard edge of these choices. It is students’ unions and universities who have stepped up to support their local communities during the pandemic and filled the gaps in support left by government just like our precious public services. Vulnerable students rely on the services provided by their students’ unions and it will be these public sector bodies that will help people to retrain, upskill and reboot our economy.

“Education is central to any future vision for the country and we must recognise that students’ unions are crucial in ensuring universities are of holistic value to students. Yet these plans make it clear that the government are willing to let our institutions crumble away without proper protections.”