Reshuffle brings news faces to education

Damian Hinds and Sam Gyimah replace Justine Greening and Jo Johnson

Sam Gyimah has replaced Jo Johnson as universities minister in the UK’s cabinet reshuffle.

Gyimah, the former prisons minister, has taken on the role spanning the Department for Education and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy after Mr Johnson was appointed transport minister and minister for London.

Dame Janet Beer, President of Universities UK and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool, said: ‘I congratulate the new universities minister on his appointment. I look forward to working with him to develop policy that supports universities to maximise their positive impact on the economy, society and students.

‘The promised review of tertiary education funding in England and establishing the new regulatory framework and Office for Students will likely be top of the new minister’s in-tray. Improving post-study work visas for international students, supporting universities’ role in promoting social mobility and securing our long-term participation in the European programmes Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+ should also be priorities.’

The promised review of tertiary education funding in England and establishing the new regulatory framework and Office for Students will likely be top of the new minister’s in-tray

Damian Hinds has been announced as education secretary in the prime minister’s cabinet reshuffle. He will replace Justine Greening, who is leaving the government.

Hinds will face big decisions over higher education, including the future of tuition fees and university funding. 

Hinds tweeted that he was “delighted” by the appointment. “Looking forward to working with the great teachers [and] lecturers in our schools, colleges [and] universities giving people the opportunities to make the most of their lives,” he said.

Toby Young has resigned from the board of new university regulator the Office for Students. This comes after he faced criticism over controversial comments.

‘Nobody comes out of the Toby Young farce well. Of course it is right he has resigned, but he should never have been appointed in the first place,’ said The University and College Union (UCU) general secretary Sally Hunt.

She added: ‘We welcome the message from the new education secretary that he is looking forward to working with staff in universities and colleges. If he is serious about working with the sector rather than against it, then looking at the make-up of this board should be one of his immediate priorities. We need to see proper representation from staff and students on the board.’