GuildHE response to Secretary of State’s speech


Speaking at the HEFCE Annual Conference today, John Denham was acknowledging the impact of higher education and how important HEIs now are to social and economic well-being and social mobility. He could see proof of HEIs commitment in the fast response of institutions to the current financial issues and especially the oversubscription to HEFCEs Economic Challenge Investment Fund. He also highlighted the Standing Together document sponsored by HEFCE with material from both GuildHE and UUK of use to businesses wanting help now.

Alice Hynes CEO of GuildHE commented It was good to hear messages from DIUS about the dynamism and entrepreneurialism of higher education which can deliver what it promises. We will be keen to see the future funding strategies to support vulnerable subjects but also the development of a consensus on those strategic areas of study which will take us beyond the recession and are worth the support now. Different approaches such as internships, placements, high level apprenticeships etc – to making the most of the capacity of the latest graduates and securing their new ideas in industry are greatly welcomed. The Framework that John Denham will be shaping in the next few month will be of great interest and we look forward to discussing that development with DIUS as the various strands of information are drawn together. This will allow a more public hearing for higher education issues and GuildHE members recognised that the public benefit of higher education has to be real and the impact of HE as driver of social and economic wealth have to be better explained.

There has been worthwhile investment and now is the time to fund students who can take advantage of the human and capital resources on offer in HEIs and become the wealth creators and tax payers of the future.

The value for money from higher education is proven and so is the secure way it delivers. HEIs will be looking to the Government to make intelligent and strategic choices in this budget by making higher education a continuing part of the solution the UK needs for a secure future.