Hodge pleads for more cash in run-up to review

May 17, 2002

Higher education minister Margaret Hodge this week met prime minister Tony Blair to plead the case for more cash for universities and colleges.

Ms Hodge was due to meet Mr Blair yesterday as the education department intensified its lobbying campaign in the run-up to the comprehensive spending review, the results of which are due within the next ten weeks or so.

Ms Hodge said that links between universities and colleges formed a key part of the Department for Education and Skills' bid for cash in the spending review.

Ms Hodge, speaking on Wednesday at a seminar organised by South Bank University, London, said that the interface between higher and further education was crucial to delivering the government's widening participation agenda.

She said that colleges were expected to improve the attainment of people prior to them applying to university. She said that this could not be achieved in isolation and that universities had to play a part in improving links with further education.

Ms Hodge said it was the government's job to ensure that there was a student support system in place in both further and higher education so that young people stayed in education beyond 16.

Ms Hodge reiterated her message of diversity. She said that universities and colleges should concentrate on their strengths.

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