Jo Johnson reappointed as UK universities and science minister

Orpington MP keeps role in Theresa May’s post-election reshuffle

June 12, 2017
Jo Johnson arrives at 10 Downing Street, London, England
Source: Alamy

Jo Johnson has been reappointed as the UK's universities and science minister in Theresa May’s post-election reshuffle.

The Orpington MP tweeted that he was “delighted” to retain the post and that he was “looking forward” to implementing the Higher Education and Research Act, and the teaching excellence framework.

Following the confirmation that Justine Greening would stay on as education secretary, and that Greg Clark would continue as business secretary, it means that the ministers working on higher education and science policy remain unchanged in the wake of last week’s general election.

Before the poll, it was thought likely that Mr Johnson was set for a move away from the universities brief, with suggestions that the battle over the inclusion of overseas students in the net migration target may have brought him disfavour from No 10. Ms Greening was also expected to change roles.

However, the loss of the Conservatives’ majority appears to have forced Ms May into a much less radical reshuffle than she originally intended.

Mr Johnson, the former head of the Number 10 Policy Unit, was first appointed universities minister by David Cameron in May 2015.

He campaigned for the UK to remain in the European Union, and he managed to steer the Higher Education Act through Parliament shortly before the election, opening up the English sector to more private providers and moving it towards what Mr Johnson described as a “classic regulated market”.

His immediate priority is likely to be overseeing the publication of the results of the TEF, which will rate English universities on student satisfaction, retention and graduate employment. This had been scheduled for 14 June, but was postponed amid the uncertainty following the general election.

chris.havergal@timeshighereducation.com

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