Commenting on today’s announcement Alex Proudfoot, Chief Executive of Independent Higher Education said:
“This is a welcome first step to recognising the critical role the higher education sector will play in rebuilding the UK’s economy and the kind of society we all want to live in after the pandemic is past.
“But in higher education, as elsewhere in life, one size does not fit all, and the Government should not impose controls on all providers which are only designed for some. Our complementary proposal to allow up to 100 extra students to choose any registered provider would protect the sector from instability still but without undermining the sustainability of some very small institutions who are experiencing a natural uptick in demand.
“The stability that SME providers are looking for this year will only be possible with the effective protection of students taught under partnerships, the ability to grow to meet rising demand for specialist career-oriented courses, and a recognition that flexibility is required in the case of the smallest institutions for whom a universal percentage-based control will never work.
“SME providers will strongly welcome the agreement to reprofile payments from the Student Loans Company, which will help them to invest in the student learning experience at a challenging time. More investment will be needed, however, in order to fully deliver the transformation required for a high-quality blended learning experience across the sector.
“We look forward to working with the Government to design and implement the additional measures we have proposed to support SME providers and to protect diversity, flexibility and individual choice at a time of considerable uncertainty for students, institutions and the country as a whole.”
- On 4th May 2020