David Willetts HEFCE speech

18 April 2012

Commenting on David Willetts’ speech to the HEFCE annual conference, Dr Wendy Piatt, Director General of the Russell Group, said:

“We welcome David Willetts’ ambition to ‘go further’ on liberated undergraduate places. From 2013-14 we would like to see the threshold for exclusion from the student number controls lowered to ABB - possibly for specific science and language subjects. 

“The Government is right to underline its commitment to university autonomy on admissions policy. Our universities strive to admit those students with the most talent, potential and ability from all backgrounds. We would prefer to see less emphasis on OFFA’s regulation and more recognition of the root causes of access problems: underachievement at school, poor advice on A-level subject and degree course choices, and low aspirations.

“We do want the Government to address growing concerns about financial support for postgraduate students so that the brightest graduates have access to better financial support.”

Notes to editors

  1. The Russell Group provided an overview of private finance options in its second submission to the Browne Review, and we have suggested that the Government consider the applicability of these, and any other private finance options, for providing support to postgraduate students.

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