Last Week’s Policy Update


Labour Manifesto

Labour’s manifesto gave further insight into their plans to reduce tuition fees to £6000. The manifesto revealed the policy would be funded by restricting tax relief on pension contributions for the highest earners and clamping down on tax avoidance. Labour alters funding proposal for fees plan (THE).

Horizon 2020

More than 50 UK University leaders have travelled to Brussels to lobby against the EU diverting some Horizon 2020 research money to a more broadly based strategic investment fund. UK university leaders lobby Brussels on research cuts (BBC).


An annual survey of university pension costs showed that costs rose slightly last year to 10.2% of total staff costs, but may increase significantly in 2016 as USS reforms take effect. Pension cost rise looming for universities (THE).


Tory Manifesto

The Conservatives have unveiled a number of policies with potential impact on HE, including a fresh toughening of student visa rules and an apparent goal for a teaching research excellence framework. Tory manifesto promises ‘framework on teaching quality’ (THE).


GuildHE’s next Chief Executive will be Gordon McKenzie, currently deputy director for higher education strategy and policy at BIS. Mr McKenzie will take up his post in early July. BIS civil servant to be new GuildHE chief (THE).

Medical Education

Experts from across the sector have written about how universities can improve medical training and what impact the election may have on the subject. Training future doctors: how does medical education need to adapt? (Guardian).


Green Manifesto

The Green Party has committed to a policy to abolish tuition fees, as well as to cancel student debt. Green Party commits to abolishing fees and student debt (THE).

Liberal Democrat Manifesto

The Liberal Democrats have pledged in their manifesto to hold a review of higher education and to introduce legislation on the sector’s regulation. Lib Dem manifesto pledges regulation and review for higher education (THE).

UKIP Manifesto

UKIP’s manifesto has pledged that the party would waive tuition fees for students in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine. The manifesto also reveals the party would review which educational institutions are eligible to enrol international students. UKIP would make STEM tuition-fee free, and revise net migration count (THE).



The NUS have launched a ‘payback time’ campaign against the MPs who broke their 2010 election promise over tuition fees. Students warn tuition fees pledge MPs of ‘payback time’ (BBC).


Leadership Foundation

The new Chief Executive of the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, Alison Johns, will prioritise addressing the structural barriers that stop more women reaching senior roles in higher education. Leadership Foundation targets hurdles stopping women (THE).