Responding to new figures published in the OECD’s Education at a Glance report, Alice Hynes, Chief Executive of the higher education representative body GuildHE, said:

“These figures demonstrate clearly how the UK economy and individuals benefit from investment in higher education. On average, our graduates gain greater earning potential than their peers in other OECD countries. This is welcome news, and helps explain why demand for places in higher education continues to grow.
“However, the report also confirms that the UK invests less of its wealth into higher education than most other OECD countries. The effects of this are felt most acutely in teaching-led institutions that are at the forefront of efforts to widen access to higher education and engage with business and industry.
“Despite the extraordinary economic circumstances our country is facing, this situation cannot be allowed to continue if the Government is serious about developing a knowledge based economy that will help us climb out of recession.
“Many other countries are clearly doing better than the UK at finding the right balance between public and private investment, maintaining a respectable unit of resource, and creating opportunities for a growing proportion of the population to benefit from higher education. We trust that ministers will use the current review of the sector to explore how the UK can achieve a similar balance to support a diverse mix of institutions serving a wide range of students and other stakeholders.”