Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Higher Education and the Economy

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:30 pm on 19th April 2007.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Baroness Warwick of Undercliffe Baroness Warwick of Undercliffe Labour 4:30 pm, 19th April 2007

My Lords, we have had an extremely positive and constructive debate with a galaxy of supportive speeches, and I thank all noble Lords who have spoken. It has been especially satisfying to hear so many noble Lords waving the flag for their own institutions; I stopped counting at 15. I particularly thank my noble friend the Minister for his recognition of the excellent work that universities do.

It is clear from what has been said that the House passionately believes in the value of higher education. I wonder if I might briefly return to three points. First, I am glad that many noble Lords have agreed that the expansion of higher education must be properly and publicly funded and emphasised the importance of the stability of the unit of funding for teaching, and that must continue. Secondly, creativity, the generation of fresh ideas and the regeneration of communities all depend on sustaining diversity of provision, freedom, flexibility and, importantly, autonomy. Thirdly, there is the sheer diversity of examples—the wide contribution from music and culture to science and economics—of how higher education is benefiting the UK economy.

My noble friend Lord Giddens said that higher education was one of the UK's great, unsung successes. I hope that your Lordships' voices raised in harmony today will sing out that success loud and clear. I beg leave to withdraw the Motion for Papers.