UUK response to government plans to introduce a Skills and Post-16 Education Bill, as outlined in the Queen’s Speech

11 May 2021

Responding to government plans to introduce a Skills and Post-16 Education Bill, including a flexible loan to adults for higher-level education or training at any point in their lives, Alistair Jarvis, Chief Executive of Universities UK, said: 

"UUK has long called for a more flexible approach to student finance to better support part-time, flexible learning and mature students. This bill is a step in the right direction and welcome recognition that adults should have access to education throughout their lives.

"As the nation looks to recover and rebuild from the impact of Covid-19, we need fresh thinking, policy change and government support to help people of all ages and backgrounds to reskill and retrain. Many universities are ready to scale up their alternatives to the traditional three-year degree, giving more people the chance to study accredited modules flexibly, including 'bitesize' courses that can be accumulated. This will allow more people to develop skills at university which will benefit the UK's recovery and boost local economies.

"We know that this is what the public want too, with a recent poll highlighting that 82% of prospective students in England who are either unemployed, at risk of unemployment, or looking to learn new skills would be keen to study individual modules of a university degree."  

 Notes to editors

1.     Universities UK (UUK) is the collective voice of 140 universities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Its mission is to create the conditions for UK universities to be the best in the world; maximising their positive impact locally, nationally and globally. Universities UK acts on behalf of universities, represented by their heads of institution. Visit: www.universitiesuk.ac.uk.




Our team

Steven Jefferies

Steven Jefferies

Head of Media
Universities UK

Eloise Phillips

Eloise Phillips

Media Officer
Universities UK

Clara Plackett

Clara Plackett

Senior Media Officer
Universities UK


pride flag

Are we living in a post-LGBTQ+ rights age?

9 June 2021
This Pride month Sebastian Bromelow calls on the higher education sector to “make some noise”, embracing a history of rebellious thoughts and actions by not only celebrating the successes of the LGBTQ+ community but also responding to challenges.

Open sign on a shop

‘What’s good for the city is good for the university’: higher education’s vital role in the post-Covid recovery

27 May 2021
Reflecting on his role as chairperson of Bradford Metropolitan District Council’s Economic Covid-19 Recovery Board, Professor Zahir Irani outlines why universities must play a key role in the country’s post-pandemic recovery.


UUK responds to valuable feedback from Student Academic Experience Survey

24 June 2021
UUK has responded to the HEPI / Advance HE Student Academic Experience Survey

UUK logo

USS employers back changes to the pension scheme

15 June 2021
Employers in the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) are backing a series of proposals for medium and long-term reform of the pension scheme.