As it happened: higher education sector reacts to the UK general election results

News and analysis as Conservative Party fails to win an overall majority in the general election

June 9, 2017
Houses of Parliament at night

This live blog is no longer being updated, but you can still find links to all our election coverage below. 

The snap general election called by prime minister Theresa May has resulted in a hung Parliament, with no party securing a majority in the House of Commons. The Conservative Party is set to win about 318 seats, while Labour is predicted to get 262. 

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called on Mrs May to resign, declaring that “politics has changed – politics isn’t going back into the box where it was before. What’s happened is people have said they’ve had quite enough of austerity politics,” he  said. Mrs May, meanwhile, said that it was important for the country to have “period of stability”. Her Conservative Party has now made a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party to enable her to form a government. 

Below, we round up up the latest reaction from the higher education sector. 

THE coverage

Labour’s pledge to scrap tuition fees wins support among young people
Analysis: youth vote delivers big for Labour
What the result means for higher 
education sector
Students are now a force in British politics, and a growing force at that
Publication of teaching excellence framework results postponed
Where students swung the election results
Government must now review university funding


"The heart of government seems to be much less strong and stable on 9 June than it did when the Theresa May returned from her walking holiday in Snowdon a mere seven weeks ago." Pam Tatlow has some words of advice for how the government  might work with universities and students following the election result. 


Some breaking news from our editor...



...and all the details will be in this report as we get them



More analysis - this time our data director Duncan Ross. He's looking at which constituencies in particular were potentially impacted the most by students. Also, we tried to predict the results - how well did we do? 


Latest election analysis: students are now a force in British politics, and a growing force at that. Since the Labour leadership contests, students have been building their political influence, says Tom Cutterham.


Prime minister Theresa May has announced that the Conservatives have done a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party, which will enable her to form a government. Are you up to date on your DUP higher education policy? Reporter Holly Else has been tweeting.



"Amidst the confusion and uncertainty, this may look to many in the higher education sector as a small bit of silver lining to some rather dark clouds". Higher Education Policy Institute director, Nick Hillman, gives his take on what the election result means for higher education.

Meanwhile, THE editor John Gill reminds his Twitter followers that perhaps the abolishing tuition fees isn't so unthinkable after all...


University and College Union (UCU) general secretary, Sally Hunt, has issued a statement saying it was "encouraging to see that a positive message, particularly after the unpleasant Brexit campaign last year, can still inspire voters"

‘We believe an important first step is to now guarantee the rights of EU citizens currently in the UK, including thousands of university and college staff and students who contribute so much to our economy and society," she says. "It looks like young people in particular have been inspired to vote in greater numbers in this election with a number of seats in towns and cities with universities and colleges changing hands. This is really encouraging and a vindication of all those, including UCU, who worked so hard to encourage young people to register to vote, and to vote for the first time."

Read: Labour’s pledge to scrap university tuition fees credited with winning the party support among young people


"The theory was that students – who can choose to vote in either their home or university constituency – could save Labour in a number of seats where it was thought to be defending Tory challenges. But in reality, student voters have been a potent offensive weapon against the Tories." Our political reporter and deputy news editor John Morgan blogs on a remarkable night for Labour


President of the National Union of Students, Malia Bouattia, continued the theme of student influence (as would be expected):  “NUS and students’ unions have worked tirelessly to get the vote out amongst students and young people,” she said. “Students want to see progressive and fair policies that will have a very real and positive impact on all our futures. We want a government that does everything in its power to welcome international students and keep our universities and colleges diverse and vibrant.”

She said that the student vote yesterday was “about more than tuition fees”. “Having worked closely with nursing students at Sheffield Hallam University as they battled to save the NHS, University of Sheffield students fighting cuts to education and college students demanding investment in education whilst also going through the area review process, it is unsurprising that they sent a strong message in this election not only to the Lib Dems because of their betrayal, but also to the Tories and their destructive policies of cuts and privatisation.”

Read more: tuition fee pledge key as Labour surges


In related news, former NUS president Wes Streeting holds Ilford North for Labour.



Could some of the former MPs who lost their seat tonight be heading your way? Many former politicians turn to academia for employment when their political luck runs out. Among the ministers unseated are Jane Ellison, Gavin Barwell, Ben Gummer, Nicola Blackwood and Edward Timpson.

But what do former political high-flyers bring to a university, and what are the potential downsides? 

Read: What are the potential perils of ex-politicians in university posts?


Could the teaching exellence framework (TEF) be postponed, asks our data editor on Twitter...


Nick Hillman, director of the Higher Education Policy Institute, told us that it is certainly not out of the question.

Read: could delaying the TEF be the first job for a new HE minister?



In May, Times Higher Education carried out a detailed data analysis of the seats where the student vote could have the most impact on the result of the election. The data picked out constituencies like Canterbury (Labour gain); Sheffield Hallam (Labour gain); Bath (Lib Dem gain); Derby North (Labour gain); Cambridge (Labour hold); and City of Chester (Labour hold) as potential student hot spots.



Could it have been the student vote that resulted in these results? Former Conservative chancellor (and current London Evening Standard editor) George Osborne thinks so.



...and our own data editor Simon Baker thinks so too. Though he didn't always get it right....



Read our analysis of key university seats here, including fully interactive map


Read: Labour’s pledge to scrap university tuition fees credited with winning the party support among young people

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