Select Committee Press Release
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17 June 2009
IUSS COMMITTEE ASKS LORD MANDELSON FOR CLARIFICATION ON AVAILABILITY OF UNIVERSITY PLACES
Phil Willis MP, Chairman of the Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Committee, has written to Lord Mandelson expressing serious concerns about the number of people who may have their higher education applications refused in 2009 following the Government’s cutback in HE expansion.
In the letter, the Committee Chairman asks Lord Mandelson if the Government’s decision to reduce HE expansion was hasty, especially when demand for places is so high and when the need to have a skilled workforce ready for an economic upturn is paramount. The Committee is keen to know if the Government will reverse its decision and how it plans to meet the huge demand for university places.
Mr Willis said:
“It appears that the 10,000 extra places that John Denham announced has translated into only an additional 3,000 vacancies for full-time undergraduates. 3,000 places is approximately the equivalent of an increase of about 1% but we gather that demand for places in England is running at 9.7 % higher than at this point last year.”
Mr Willis has also written to Sir Alan Langlands, Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (Hefce), requesting information on how it plans to manage the allocation of funding for places.
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