In his Green Paper Jo Johnson sets out a list of proposals to “put students at the heart of higher education. According to Johnson “We must do more to ensure that the time and money students invest in higher education is well spent.” To establish that, Johnson put forward a list of proposals:
– drive up teaching standards and give students more information through a new Teaching Excellence Framework that will encourage a greater focus on high quality teaching and graduate employment prospects
– widen participation for students from disadvantaged backgrounds and encourage providers to increase focus on supporting all students through their course and into employment or further study. A new Social Mobility Advisory Group would report to the Universities Minister with a plan to meet the Prime Minister’s ambitions to increase the proportion of disadvantaged students entering higher education and increase the number of BME students by 20% by 2020
– enable students to choose from a wider range of high-quality higher education providers by making it less bureaucratic to establish a new university through faster access to Degree Awarding Powers and University Title
– establish a new Office for Students to promote the student interest and value for money, and reduce the regulatory burden on the sector
With this plans, Johnson hopes to maintain UK’s leading position in academic quality as well as to keep higher education inclusive. “Higher education (HE) is one of our country’s greatest strengths. We have some of the best universities in the world, including four of the world’s top ten and ten of the top fifty,” Johnson starts of his Green Paper, while shortly afterwards giving attention to social inclusion.
“Our higher education system is also a significant driver of opportunity with more students from disadvantaged backgrounds attending than ever before. In addition, we are seeing the highest proportion of students from black and minority ethnic groups going to university.”