UUK issues Augar review ‘tests’

As rumours gather about delays in Whitehall, Alistair Jarvis sets out criteria against which to judge Philip Augar's report

The head of Universities UK has insisted the post-18 education review should put the sector before politics.

Alistair Jarvis, chief executive of the university membership organisation, laid out five tests against which Philip Augar’s review should be judged in order to “enable universities to sustain and grow their positive impact on individuals, the economy and the whole of society”.


One of Jarvis’ five tests for the review is that it should help narrow Britain’s skills gaps. Here we report on an initiative between the University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt University aiming to do exactly that


According to Jarvis, the report’s proposals must improve access to higher education, narrow Britain’s skills gaps, sustain the quality of HE, help universities contribute to their local communities and give students ownership of their course and career choices.

He said: “The funding system needs to be clear and simple to promote access and ensure students understand the financial support available. But fundamentally we should respect and support students’ choices – as it is they who will have to live with the consequences.”

However, with continued silence from the government on a release date for the report, suspicion has begun to emerge that it will not, as announced, appear ‘early’ in 2019.

Alistair Jarvis

BBC News cited “sources” saying the review might be delayed to May or later, pushed back by the administrative demands of Brexit. Some do not expect the report to materialise until the autumn, if at all.

It is widely expected to recommend a drop in fees to £7,500 and to support better access to loans with reasonable interest rates.