Jo Johnson is new minister covering higher education

The pro-European could be a key appointment in lead up to EU referendum

May 11, 2015

Source: PA

Jo Johnson has been appointed as the new universities and science minister.

Prime minister David Cameron appointed Mr Johnson, who had been leading the Number 10 Policy Unit, in today’s post-election reshuffle.

Mr Johnson, the brother of London mayor Boris, is seen as being on the left of the Conservative Party.

The Orpington MP succeeds Greg Clark, who has been promoted to secretary of state in the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Mr Johnson’s reputation as a pro-European is likely to please vice-chancellors, many of whom are concerned by the Tories’ pledge to hold an in-out referendum on EU membership by 2017.

Universities UK has pointed out that British higher education institutions benefit from around £1.2 billion in European research funding each year.

Mr Johnson also co-authored a 2012 Financial Times article calling for overseas students to be taken out of the government’s net migration targets.

That suggests that he may adopt a position that challenges Theresa May, the home secretary, who will take forward the Tory manifesto pledge for further tightening of visa rules for overseas students.

Sajid Javid, a former parliamentary private secretary to George Osborne, was earlier appointed as secretary of state in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Like Mr Javid, Mr Johnson appears to have close links to the chancellor. Mr Johnson and Mr Osborne were members of the Bullingdon Club together at the University of Oxford.

Mr Johnson studied modern history at Oxford, before a spell in investment banking at Deutsche Bank and 13 years at the FT.

john.morgan@tesglobal.com

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Reader's comments (2)

He is a graduate in modern history and now science minister. I fully expect plenty of "Science dominates the UK political scene" posts from Arts and Humanities colleagues who foresee the return of the Dark Ages.
Does anyone know his best STEM qualification? A-level, GCSE? It's a bit like making a philistine responsible for Culture, Media and Sport.

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Head Coach of Women's Basketball

California University Of Technology

Employee Relations Consultant

Macquarie University - Sydney Australia

Administrative Assistant

University Of Wollongong

Lecturer - Faculty Office

Monash University

Senior People & Culture Advisor

Swinburne University Of Technology
See all jobs

Most Commented

Laurel and Hardy sawing a plank of wood

Working with other academics can be tricky so follow some key rules, say Kevin O'Gorman and Robert MacIntosh

Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford will host a homeopathy conference next month

Charity says Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford is ‘naive’ to hire out its premises for event

women leapfrog. Vintage

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman offer advice on climbing the career ladder

Woman pulling blind down over an eye
Liz Morrish reflects on why she chose to tackle the failings of the neoliberal academy from the outside
White cliffs of Dover

From Australia to Singapore, David Matthews and John Elmes weigh the pros and cons of likely destinations