UNIVERSITIES will be asked to throw their weight behind the government's lifelong learning agenda as part of the battle to secure more funding from this summer's comprehensive spending review.
Vice-chancellors will be expected to give full public backing to flagship government initiatives such as the University for Industry and Individual Learning Accounts. Both are topics for debate at next Friday's meeting of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals.
Tony Bruce, CVCP policy director, said: "We are beginning to devote a lot of time to the UFI. We expect the government to put money into it because of the political momentum behind it. I also think we will have an interesting debate on ILAs and the extent to which ILAs, which have been focused mainly on further education, can cover the whole of the post-compulsory sector."
Universities have been worried that they may be low on the government's list of educational priorities, behind schools and further education. If so, the CSR, due to be published in July, may contain little extra money for universities.
CVCP chief executive Diana Warwick will report on CSR meetings with the No. 10 Policy Unit and chief secretary to the Treasury Alistair Darling. Ms Warwick said: "I felt that we had recognition of the strength of our arguments. I felt that we made headway."
* Guide to the CSR, pages 6-7
* Leader, page 13