New Government

14 July 2016

Commenting on the new Government, Director General of the Russell Group Dr Wendy Piatt said:

“I’d like to congratulate Justine Greening on her appointment as Secretary of State for Education who now has responsibility for higher education, and Greg Clark, on becoming the new Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy with responsibility for research and science.

“Moving the responsibility for universities into the Department for Education is another significant change which we will watch closely to see how it works in practice. We will continue to seek to work closely with Government to ensure our universities have sufficient funding and support to carry out cutting-edge research and provide excellent teaching.

“We hope that placing all education and skills policy together will be an opportunity for a joined-up approach to helping more disadvantaged students gain a place at a leading university – we know that academic underachievement and poor advice and guidance are the key barriers to greater access for these students. However, we also hope that Ms Greening and Mr Clark work closely together as science and research are fundamental functions of our universities and one of our key objectives is to ensure that research informs teaching and vice-versa.

“This is a crucial time for the country and there are significant challenges ahead to ensure our universities can compete against the best in the world. Russell Group universities make a vital contribution to economic growth and our national life – they contribute more than £32 billion a year to the UK economy and are responsible for supporting over 300,000 jobs. The UK’s higher education system is world class and our research-intensive universities make a vital contribution to economic growth and prosperity.”

“We look forward to working with the new Secretaries of State to maintain our place as a global leader in research and higher education.”

Notes to Editors

  1. The new Prime Minister Theresa May MP appointed her new Cabinet on 13 and 14 July. The responsibility for higher education has moved from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) to the Department for Education, under new Secretary of State for Education, Justine Greening MP. The responsibility for science and research remains in the new Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy which replaces BIS with immediate effect, under Secretary of State, Greg Clark MP.
  2. On 15 July, Jo Johnson MP was reappointed Universities and Science Minister working across the Department for Education and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

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