Alex Proudfoot, Chief Executive of Independent Higher Education, has commented on the Office for Student’s funding proposals for world-leading specialist providers:
“We welcome the consultation and we strongly urge the Office for Students to be ambitious in forging a new definition of world class specialist provision. Our economy and society need very different things today from decades past and we believe specialist providers can play an even bigger role in helping economic and social recovery following the pandemic.
In particular, we would support the elements of the consultation that reserve funding for smaller providers who can’t benefit from economies of scale and yet provide vital niche and bespoke education and training – often for high growth nascent sectors, or prestige industries.
Securing the confidence of the many specialist providers, including household names, who have historically been excluded from this funding stream, will require a very high level of transparency, the involvement of industry experts, and clear evidence of unbiased judgements from the new panel that will be established to oversee it.
A wider debate should follow about the role of specialist providers in education and the economy following the consultation, and their impact on job creation, teaching excellence and social mobility.”
- On 20th October 2021