Universities and further education
The Government believes that our universities are essential for building a strong and innovative economy. We will take action to create more college and university places, as well as help to foster stronger links between universities, colleges and industries.
- We will seek ways to support the creation of apprenticeships, internships, work pairings, and college and workplace training places as part of our wider programme to get Britain working.
- We will set colleges free from direct state control and abolish many of the further education quangos. Public funding should be fair and follow the choices of students.
- We will await Lord Browne’s final report into higher education funding, and will judge its proposals against the need to: – increase social mobility; – take into account the impact on student debt; – ensure a properly funded university sector; – improve the quality of teaching; – advance scholarship; and – attract a higher proportion of students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
- If the response of the Government to Lord Browne’s report is one that Liberal Democrats cannot accept, then arrangements will be made to enable Liberal Democrat MPs to abstain in any vote.
- We will review support for part-time students in terms of loans and fees.
- We will publish more information about the costs, graduate earnings and student satisfaction of different university courses.
- We will ensure that public funding mechanisms for university research safeguard its academic integrity.