In response to the announcement on a consultation on new Minimum Service Levels for Universities, made by the Rt Hon. Gillian Keegan MP, the Secretary of State for Education, at the Conservative Party Conference, Nick Hillman, Director of HEPI, said:
This is a bold and important announcement. It’s aimed at the UCU who’ve conducted year-after-year of industrial action to not much effect, but many managers will be concerned about what it means in practice too.
The proposal begs lots of questions. What standards? Which students? What penalties? These can doubtless be resolved in the forthcoming consultation.
But the real importance of the new announcement is that it reveals the role university policy could pay at the next election. Universities need to do all they can to avoid becoming a political football by reaching out to policymakers to explain the contributions they make to levelling up, raising skills and economic growth.
Earlier today, HEPI launched three vice-chancellors’ manifestos for the next election – see https://www.hepi.ac.uk/2023/10/02/three-university-leaders-reveal-their-hopes-for-the-next-election/