Universities: Financial Sustainability

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:26 pm on 11th February 2019.

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Photo of Chris Skidmore Chris Skidmore Vice-Chair, Conservative Party, Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Education) 4:26 pm, 11th February 2019

I thank my hon. Friend for the work he put in as one of my predecessors as Universities Minister. The establishment of the Office for Students was very much down to his hard work. I remember the Higher Education and Research Act as the most amended piece of legislation in the history of this place, and he did a sterling job in making sure that we have the regulatory framework in place to ensure that we protect against financial failure in the market.

When it comes to international students, the Government are absolutely determined to press forward and look internationally at what we can do. Our universities are world-class and world-leading organisations. We have had roughly 460,000 applications from the EU and internationally this year—the highest level of applications ever seen. We will be publishing an international education strategy in the spring. We are clear that we have removed the cap on international student numbers, and we want to do more to ensure that we can increase our ability to compete not just nationally but internationally with other countries that also recognise the value of higher education at the international level.