Prime Minister promises more university places

July 16, 2009

The Prime Minister has promised “further increases” in university places this year.

During a grilling by MPs on the House of Commons Liaison Committee this morning, Gordon Brown said that the Universities Minister, would be making an announcement on student numbers “as soon as is possible”.

Last week, it emerged that 52,000 more students have applied for places at university than at this time last year. But they are competing for only 3,000 extra full-time places at universities this autumn after a government decision to scale back student numbers to meet a shortfall in the student support budget. Phil Willis, chairman of the Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Committee, told Mr Brown that 3,000 extra places was a “derisory” figure compared with the level of demand.

Mr Brown said at the meeting: “There will be further increases agreed for university places this year.” However, he refused to give numbers, saying this was for the Universities Minister to announce.

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