After a disastrous night for Labour and the Liberal Democrats, David Cameron has returned to Downing Street as prime minister.
The Conservatives have pledged to hold an in-out referendum on the UK’s EU membership by 2017.
Universities UK is likely to campaign against an exit. The organisation has previously argued that UK universities benefit from £1.2 billion a year in European research income.
On funding, Vince Cable, the former Lib Dem business secretary who lost his Twickenham seat to the Tories last night, had previously warned that a Conservative government could raise fees “significantly” after 2015.
Former Tory leader William Hague said this week that a rise in fees in the next Parliament had not been ruled out.
On immigration, the Tory manifesto says the party would “keep our ambition of delivering annual net migration in the tens of thousands, not the hundreds of thousands”, a policy that has previously brought claims from UK universities that overseas student recruitment is being harmed.
The manifesto also says a Tory government would “reform the student visa system with new measures to tackle abuse and reduce the numbers of students overstaying once their visas expire”.
The manifesto pledges to “ensure that universities deliver the best possible value for money to students”. It commits to “introduce a framework to recognise universities offering the highest teaching quality” and “require more data to be openly available to potential students so that they can make decisions informed by the career paths of past graduates”.
On research funding, the manifesto says: “Through the Nurse Review of research councils, we will seek to ensure that the UK continues to support world-leading science, and invests public money in the best possible way.”