We support Jo Johnson’s aspirations, set out in the White Paper, to create a more diverse higher education sector. However, we have some concerns about the proposal to allow new entrants to the sector to have provisional degree awarding powers from day one.
The minister suggests that international universities such as Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology or an Indian Institute of Technology might wish to establish themselves in the UK. It is reasonable that there should be an express route for them in the UK and a reciprocal agreement for British universities in their home countries. They have well-established track records and are clearly financially sustainable. They can demonstrate outputs, employability and proven quality.
There are also established alternative providers that deserve accelerated recognition, particularly if this can be limited to their specific subject experience or level. However, recently established institutions will be unable to demonstrate quality or financial sustainability, and this presents a real risk to students. Protection for them must be specified before these changes go forward.
Aldwyn Cooper, vice-chancellor, Regent’s University London, chair, Independent Universities Group
Philip Hallam , vice-chancellor and CEO, Arden University
Carl Lygo, vice-chancellor, BPP University, vice-chair, Independent Universities Group
Kai Peters, chief executive, Ashridge Business School
Sir Anthony Seldon, vice-chancellor, University of Buckingham
Ashley Wheaton, principal, University College of Estate Management