Students’ Return to Universities

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:43 pm on 29th September 2020.

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Photo of Gavin Williamson Gavin Williamson The Secretary of State for Education 12:43 pm, 29th September 2020

Few people in the House can match my right hon. Friend as such a staunch and consistent advocate for high-quality further and technical education, whether through our further education colleges, apprenticeships or independent learning providers. He truly is an inspiration not just to me but to so many others to ensure that we provide that for young people in the future.

My right hon. Friend rightly says that the university situation is something that we need to constantly keep under review. We will constantly work with the sector very closely to ensure that we adapt and support it if the pandemic means that we have to make changes.

On why not enough youngsters on free school meals or white working-class boys are going to university, that is a real issue. We need to see change. We need to look at different options to ensure that those youngsters realise that they can succeed as well at university as all the other youngsters who choose to go. We will ensure that we deliver it as we level up across the country over the coming years.