Uni chief tells Tories to ‘pause’ education reforms

REFORMS of further education should be “paused”, according to the vice-chancellor of the University of Bedfordshire.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 11th October 2011, 9:00 am

Professor Les Ebdon CBE DL made his comments while speaking at a fringe event at last week’s Conservative Party Conference.

He was speaking as chairman of the university thinktank million+ alongside Universities Minister David Willetts MP.

Professor Ebdon said: “The government’s plan for a market in student numbers risks undermining all their warm words about social mobility.

“The White Paper proposals are the very opposite of the pupil premium. Rather than add extra resources to less advantaged students, these plans will see the well-off and well-heeled receive more public funding for their degrees.

“Ministers would be doing students and universities a disservice to push ahead with changes in 2012-13. After all there’s change aplenty in 2012 and no-one yet knows the impact of the new fees and loan system on student demand.

“This is why I am calling on ministers to delay making any decisions about a White Paper that many MPs have not read, which the public has not yet understood and which will undoubtedly change English higher education forever.”