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Higher Education

Britain's higher education is a major contributor to the economic success and social well being of the country. Higher education is a national asset, whose excellence in teaching and research is world recognised. Better educated and more highly skilled people are more likely to be in work, earn more and contribute more productively to our economy and society. Knowledge and skills provide people with their surest way into work and prosperity, helping eradicate the causes of poverty and division.

About 70% of the 2020 workforce is already beyond compulsory education age. We will therefore have to raise skill levels amongst the current workforce in order for Britain to compete successfully.

The future of higher education must be one where:

  • higher education institutions work to widen participation beyond young people leaving college or school with good A levels;
  • put learners and employers at the heart of their provision; and
  • strengthen their leading position in international education through excellent teaching and innovative research.

Please explore the below pages to find out more about Higher Education.

Higher Education Debate

In his speech to the Wellcome Collection in February, John Denham announced his intention to develop a framework for higher education over the next 10-15 years. He asked eight individuals or organisations to produce recommendations on key areas.

Read more about the HE Debate

Student Listening Programme

In October 2007, DIUS launched the Student Listening Programme, designed to amplify the student voice in Government.

Find out more about the Student Listening Programme and Student Juries.

Applying to University

If you need information on applying to university, life as a student or any other aspect of higher education as a student

Find out more about higher education as a student

LAs/Practitioners student finance gateway

Select here if you are a practitioner, work for a local authority or someone involved with student finance applications

Find out more about LAs/Practitioners student finance gateway

Recognised degrees in Higher Education

A new 'university challenge'

In April 2008 DIUS published a policy document A new 'University Challenge' (PDF 456KB) about opening opportunities for towns and cities to bid for new centres of higher education. HEFCE is currently conducting a consultation on its proposals.

Higher Education at Work – High Skills: High Value

Through this, our high level skills strategy, we will consult on what more we need to do to equip the workforce with the skills required for an innovative and competitive economy.

Read more about the consultation

Gateways to the Professions

The Government’s Gateways to the Professions initiative supports measures to improve access to the professions.

Find out more about Gateways to the Professions

Student loans, bursaries and scholarships

Apply on line for student loans and grants and get comprehensive information on tuition fees, bursaries and scholarships via the Directgov website and Student Finance Direct.

Find out more about Student loans, bursaries and scholarships

International HE studies

Information on studying abroad:

Spending part of your degree course abroad (Directgov)

The Erasmus Programme (European Commission)

Science and Society: your views

Please visit the Science and Society consultation site to join the debate.