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

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. Our inheritance from the previous Government meant that we had a cap on student numbers, low numbers of people from disadvantaged backgrounds going to university, and low numbers of women entering science and mathematics degrees. All those trends have been reversed by investing in access and participation plans, investment to ensure that universities can expand geographically and—[Interruption.] Gordon Marsden is chuntering from a sedentary position. [Interruption.] I do apologise. Angela Rayner is chuntering from a sedentary position. I say again that turning back the clock to taxpayer-funded degrees would simply be a fee cut for the children of millionaires and I simply do not agree with that.