GuildHE response to speech by Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills


The higher education representative body GuildHE has urged the Government to support a wide range of institutions and disciplines in its review of the sector.


Responding to Lord Mandelson’s first major speech on higher education today, GuildHE incoming Chair and Buckinghamshire New University Vice-Chancellor Professor Ruth Farwell welcomed the emphasis which the Secretary of State placed on the sector’s role in bringing about economic and social change.


She said: “We recognise that in the current economic situation hard choices will need to be made. But it is important not to lose sight of the full set of skills that will be needed for the future.


“GuildHE institutions have an impressive track record in recruiting students from a wide range of backgrounds, in providing those students with excellent teaching and support, and helping them to find worthwhile and rewarding jobs.


“Many also have particular strengths in areas that play an important role in the British economy and in society, such as the creative industries, food and land-based industries, and in social care for young people and the elderly.


“We would argue that these have as important a role to play as science, technology, engineering and mathematics in breathing new life into the economy and creating opportunities for people to build successful careers.


“We therefore look forward to seeing Lord Mandelson’s speech followed up in practice with policies that support the values and principles he has set out.”