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Russell Group sets out General Election priorities

Group of leading UK universities list visa and immigration system, Brexit and the student experience as top GE outcomes

Posted by Rebecca Paddick | May 05, 2017 | Students

The Russell Group has listed its top higher education priorities for the eminent general election. These are:

 1. Brexit – secure a strong outcome for universities and research, recognising the importance of mobility and multi-lateral international collaboration

2. International staff and students – deliver a new visa and immigration system that supports universities to attract and retain talented staff and students from anywhere in the world

3. Industrial strategy – work with our world-class universities as anchors for the economy and jobs locally, regionally and for the UK as a whole and support them to deliver growth across the country

4. Science, research and innovation – commit to at least current levels of planned investment for the science budget (resource and capital) and aim to make the UK even more globally competitive 

5. Student experience – deliver sustainable funding for universities to provide the highest quality teaching and learning experience, in particular for high cost STEM+ subjects. 

Acting Director of the Russell Group ,Dr Tim Bradshaw, said that there is more at stake at this General Election than the UK’s future relationship with the EU as he set out the Russell Group’s policy priorities ahead of the publication of party manifestos, said: “June 2017 is being dubbed the ‘Brexit Election’, but while Brexit does need to be front and centre of the political debate there is a lot more at stake than our future relationship with the EU. 

“The economy is still affected by the financial crisis of nearly a decade ago, global challenges such as climate change haven’t gone away and, perhaps more than ever, the UK’s long-term prosperity will depend on our ability to innovate, adapt and form new partnerships.

June 2017 is being dubbed the ‘Brexit Election’, but while Brexit does need to be front and centre of the political debate there is a lot more at stake than our future relationship with the EU

“Visiting Bristol recently, I heard the university being described as a ‘portal to the rest of the world’, creating connections, driving inward investment and stimulating growth through the flow of talent and ideas. This story is replicated right across the country: the UK has a world-class higher education system and our leading universities are absolutely central to the economy and society locally, regionally and nationally.

“Support for higher education will be crucial if we are to make a success of Brexit and deliver on the goals of the Industrial Strategy.”

The Russell Group’s General Election briefing can be found online here.

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