Speaking following the launch of the proposals of the Independent Report of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance, Professor David Eastwood, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Birmingham and member of the Browne Review team said:

“We must maintain a high quality system, offer a world class student experience and sustain opportunities for all who can benefit to study in higher education. At the same time we must ensure that the system is affordable for students, taxpayers and government.”

“The proposals offer a very good deal for students and a fair and progressive way forward. If the recommendations are adopted by government no-one will pay fees up front. Graduates, not students, make a contribution to the cost of their higher education, and they will only do so when they are in work and can afford it. Graduates will contribute only when they are benefiting from their higher education.

“There will be new quality guarantees and greater student choice. There will be a generous system of support for student living. The grants for the least well off will be increased, and no-one should be deterred from studying by the cost of their maintenance. Where families can contribute, they will; when then can’t, students will receive grants. Part-time students will enjoy the kind of support both for tuition and living that the current system denies them.”

“Our universities are a huge success story, second only to those of the United States in terms of reputation, quality, and impact. But despite this success Government spending on higher education will not be maintained at the current level; we are in line for deep cuts.”

“These proposals offer the best way to maintain a high quality, flexible higher education system which gives all who can benefit from higher education the opportunity to do so. If the government adopts these progressive recommendations, we will achieve the higher education system our country needs and that our students deserve.”


Notes to Editors

Professor David Eastwood is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Birmingham and a panel member of Independent Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Support chaired by Lord Browne of Madingley. Professor Eastwood’s full biographical details are available at http://www.council.bham.ac.uk/membership/profiles/eastwood.shtml

For the full report of the Browne Review, visit: http://hereview.independent.gov.uk/hereview

The University of Birmingham:

The University of Birmingham is a truly vibrant, global community and an internationally-renowned institution. Its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than four thousand international students from nearly 150 different countries.

The University is home to more than 28,000 students. With more than 7,500 postgraduate students from across the world, Birmingham is one of the most popular universities for postgraduate study in the UK.

The University is the eighth largest employer in the Birmingham/Solihull sub-region and plays an integral role in the economic, social and cultural growth of local and regional communities; working closely with businesses and organisations, employing approximately 6,000 staff and providing 10,000 graduates annually.

The University contributes over £660 million to the City of Birmingham and over £780 million to the West Midlands region, with an annual income of more than £420 million.

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Alistair Jarvis – Director of Communications and Marketing, University of Birmingham, tel: +44 (0)121 414 8470 / email a.jarvis@bham.ac.uk