Manifesto seeks backing for capital’s higher education from next government

Manifesto seeks backing for capital’s higher education from next government

The next national government should provide London’s universities with “a more stable financial foundation” to help them keep the capital at the forefront of global cities, according to London Higher, the body that represents more than 50 of the city’s higher education institutions.

In a 13-page manifesto it calls for a more coherent long-term vision for higher education’s future, a “more positive dialogue” about the sector to highlight its value to the country, investment in cutting-edge disciplines such as renewable energy and artificial intelligence, and a widening of opportunities to study for degrees.

The document describes London’s education institutions as “a national asset that powers our global city”, pointing out that its competitors are such as New York, Tokyo, Paris and Singapore, and emphasising its potential for boosting “innovation-led growth” benefiting the whole of the UK.

The “long-term vision” proposals include a plea for funding allocations that “recognise and reflect the real-terms costs faced by institutions in London and other high cost areas of the country”, a reformed regulatory framework to minimise administrative burdens, and the development of “an industrial strategy with universities and businesses at its heart”.

Championing higher education in London should mean recognising its role in meeting national challenges, welcoming overseas students – most of whom can no longer be joined by family members under new restrictions imposed by the current government – and remaining in the international research and innovation programme, Horizon Europe.

“Long-term funding cycles” are requested for research and development projects, along with other initiatives to bolster growth, and commitments are sought to build on the capital’s output of graduates – currently numbering over 140,000 a year – by increasing nursing and medical school places, supporting a nationwide outreach programme to draw in students from all social backgrounds, and ensuring that vocational options are “embedded in a joined-up tertiary education system” to help address skills shortages.

London Higher’s chief executive Diana Beech said: “London’s universities are both local assets and global magnets, transforming the lives and opportunities of the people around them. As we head into a general election, we hope this manifesto will encourage the main political parties to think strategically about the value of working with universities in London, and indeed elsewhere, to drive growth and prosperity right across the country.” 

Read the manifesto HERE.

Support and its writers for just £5 a month of £50 a year and get things for your money too. Details HERE. Threads: DaveHillOnLondon. X/Twitter: On London and Dave Hill. Image from London Higher manifesto.

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