On Monday Theresa May launched the highly anticipated Review of Post-18 Education and Funding. The review aims to focus on four areas;
- Access to tertiary education for all, including maintenance support for disadvantaged students.
- More informed choice (and competition) between the options available.
- Delivering the skills that the economy needs, to support the industrial strategy.
- Value for money – for students, graduates and taxpayers.
The review will be government-led and managed by the Department for Education, reporting to Damian Hinds, Philip Hammond and Theresa May with Anne Milton and Sam Gyimah leading the review internally.
The advisory panel will be chaired by Philip Augar whom is the former equities trader-turned-author of books about the banking system. However, the panel will have no direct input from students. Yesterday, Augar said: “I look forward to engaging widely with students, business, and providers across the post-18 education landscape. This is a wide, open and far-reaching review. We begin with no preconceptions and our first priority will be a serious examination of the evidence and hearing from a broad range of stakeholders who like us are committed to ensuring the system works for everyone”.
WONKHE reported on the top ten noteworthy features so far;
- As a principle, students should contribute to the cost of their studies.
- The review will not look at pre-2012 loans, free tuition, any overall increase in costs, or a graduate tax.
- There should be no cap on the number of students that “can benefit” from post-18 education.
- The current post-18 system, “one of most expensive in the world”, is not working as well as it could be.
- There should be an end to “outdated attitudes” that favour university over technical education, so the review will look at “the whole post-18 education sector, breaking down false boundaries”. However, it’s worth noting that many people will have started making such choices before the age of 18.
- The current technical level 4 and 5 review will “feed into” this review. The PM didn’t mention any of the technical or vocational delivery already happening in HE, or the HE happening in FE.
- There should be more variation in price and delivery.
- This review should look at lifelong learning, including flexible and distance learning.
- As per Theresa May’s conference speech, it is expected that the 2018/19 fee cap freeze will continue until the review is complete, at least…
- A final report is expected from the government in spring 2019, with an interim report from the panel before then.