Minister Halfon Presents his speech on Higher Education

The truth is that our modern society has changed. We now have a far more diverse university sector with different types of institutions and students accessing higher education across the UK.

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This means that universities must innovate to ensure they are meeting the needs of all students – young people from all backgrounds – and giving them the best opportunity to succeed.

I am proud of our recent improvements, such as introducing maintenance grants for disadvantaged students and removing tuition fees for part-time undergraduates. But there is more work to be done.

We want universities to become engines of social mobility by widening access, improving student outcomes and tackling entrenched inequality. Our focus should always be on providing quality teaching and learning and supporting our students to get the most out of their studies.

We have launched a new Teaching Excellence Framework to ensure that all universities offer high-quality teaching. It will encourage universities to think about how best they can use technology, personalised learning and flexible study options for their students. We also plan to introduce a quality assessment for Higher Education providers so that only those with the highest standards are allowed to offer degrees in the UK.

According to our recent student money survey, there is still significant variation in the level of satisfaction between our universities. We all have a responsibility to ensure that students receive value for money and have access to advice and support when needed.

higher education

We must also do more to protect the excellent reputation of higher education by tackling plagiarism, fraudulent degree certificates and other forms of academic dishonesty. We are working with universities to strengthen systems that detect and prevent cheating and take action against those who perpetrate fraud or abuse the system.

Higher education shouldn’t be a privilege reserved for some. It should be accessible to everyone regardless of background, ethnicity or location. By continuing to work together, we can ensure that our world-class universities remain at the forefront of providing quality teaching and learning. We owe it to our students to give them the best opportunities for success.

What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts on this important topic. Thank you

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