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Browne review encourages ambitious proposals on the future of higher education
Issued by the News Distribution Service on behalf of The Independent Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance
The Independent Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance has today set out its initial findings on the current funding regime and called for views on how the system should be funded in the future.
Publishing the findings from its first call to evidence and inviting proposals for the future, the Independent Review said that the higher education system must be internationally competitive, financially sustainable and accessible to all.
Speaking at a student event at City University in London, Chair of the Review, Lord Browne of Madingley, said:
"I want to continue the rich debate that our first call for evidence has started. That’s why we are asking how high participation and high quality in our universities and colleges can be delivered in a way that is financially sustainable.
"“To find a solution that will work, we, and those responding to us, must look at the system as a whole. There are no easy answers, but we are convinced that by being ambitious about the future of higher education, we can deliver a lasting long-term solution."
Evidence submitted to the Independent Review suggests that the introduction of variable fees has not reduced participation in higher education, but there is a consensus that potential students need better advice and guidance to support their decisions.
Universities and colleges have revealed how they have invested additional tuition fee income into student bursaries and improvements in teaching, although some student groups have questioned whether there is evidence that quality has improved.
The Independent Review has also set out the criteria it will use to assess proposals for reform of the higher education funding system. These relate to how proposals would impact on the system as a whole, as well as assessing their impact of participation, quality and sustainability of the system.
Notes to Editors
1. The second call for evidence document and more information on the work of the Independent Review are available at: www.independent.gov.uk/HEreview
2. The second call for evidence is open until Friday 14 May and will be followed by further public hearings.
3. The Independent Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance was jointly commissioned by the Government and the Opposition. It was launched on the 9th November 2009. The review is tasked with making recommendations to Government on the future of higher education funding and student financial support for full and part-time undergraduate and postgraduate students.
4. The Review Panel is chaired by Lord Browne of Madingley and comprises six other experts drawn from business and academia: Sir Michael Barber, Diane Coyle, Prof David Eastwood, Prof Julia King, Rajay Naik, and Peter Sands.
5. For more information, please contact the Independent Review’s press officer on 0207 215 3496
Phone: For enquiries please contact the above department