Commenting on Alan Milburn’s report on higher education and social mobility, released today, Andy Westwood, GuildHE CEO, said:

"Alan Milburn has understood that improving social mobility requires action across the student lifecycle – beginning in schools and ending by equipping graduates for successful careers. He recognises that this is not just a task for higher education institutions, but must also involve the school sector and policy-makers. He is right to take this joined-up approach.

"It is also right to acknowledge that there is no single ‘right’ model of higher education that will work for everyone, and that the UK’s current good record on social mobility has come about because different universities have different strengths. Students, too, have diverse backgrounds and diverse needs, and Mr Milburn recognises that higher education transforms individual lives as well as contributing to the wider social and economic good.

"We need more higher education, for more individuals, and Milburn’s challenge to each and every higher education institution, which we embrace, is to put the student first – a range of approaches is needed to ensure that students from all backgrounds are to be given the opportunity to benefit from all kinds of higher education provision.

"Policy-makers will be grateful to Mr Milburn for his contribution to the social mobility agenda and we look forward to working with them to build on the good work already being done across the sector."


For further information, please contact:

Andy Westwood, GuildHE CEO, 020 7387 7711 or

Notes for Editors

1. Alan Milburn’s report University Challenge: How Higher Education Can Advance Social Mobility is published today at Alan Milburn is the Independent Reviewer on Social Mobility and Child Poverty.

2. GuildHE is one of the two representative organisations for higher education institutions.