Amendment to the Motion

Part of Higher Education (Fee Limits and Student Support) (England) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 - Motion to Approve – in the House of Lords at 5:40 pm on 2nd July 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Bassam of Brighton Lord Bassam of Brighton Shadow Spokesperson (Further & Higher Education), Shadow Spokesperson (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) (Sport), Shadow Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and International Trade) 5:40 pm, 2nd July 2020

My Lords, I shall not detain the House for very much longer. I make it clear from the outset that is not my intention to press my amendment to a Division; I think that would be unfortunate and send the wrong sort of message.

The regulations have received something of a withering attack from across the breadth of the House—and deservedly so. I suspect that the Government will have to come back and think again about their package, certainly in part. We on the Labour Benches want to see a secure higher education sector, and we are somewhat alarmed by the comments made yesterday by the Universities Minister, Michelle Donelan. I am grateful that the noble Lord, Lord Parkinson, describes our universities as world-renowned because that is exactly what they are, and we should do nothing that disturbs that or undermines their power and economic value, particularly as we begin to recover from the impact of the Covid epidemic.

This has been a very useful debate that has set out some important benchmarks and lines for us to consider in future. My principal concern is to ensure that we do not imperil the wider participation of students from a whole range of backgrounds, not least those from poorer backgrounds. I suspect that the higher education sector will have to respond in greater numbers to the demands that are made, and that we will have to have a further debate on this subject in the near future. That said, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment to the Motion withdrawn.

Motion agreed.

Sitting suspended.