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 Research Bill - Report (1st Day) (Continued)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:15 pm on 6th March 2017.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Lexden Lord Lexden Conservative 7:15 pm, 6th March 2017

My Lords, I strongly support the aim of this amendment, having spoken in favour of its predecessor in Committee. Across the House there is a firm view that all possible means should be employed to get more young people on to the electoral register. Those of us who visit schools, as part of the Lord Speaker’s outreach programme—my noble friend the Minister is one of that number—often urge action in concert with local electoral registration offices. I did so myself last Friday. As the noble Baronesses have emphasised, higher education institutions can make a significant contribution to the increased registration of young people, on which the whole future success of our democracy depends. The means lie readily to hand, the procedure is simple and the will is clearly present in many universities. All of them now need to be encompassed in a strong and determined higher education initiative on behalf of our young people and their democratic future. As I have said before, the campaign for increased registration needs sustained cross-party support. All parties must be in this together, to coin a phrase.

In replying to a debate in Committee, my noble friend Lady Goldie suggested that in some higher education institutions a lack of resources might impede or delay progress. I hope that in replying to this debate my noble friend Lord Young will give a clear assurance that the Government will play their full part in helping to remove any obstacles to progress and to achieving the sustained campaign of action that is so urgent.