With Vice-Chancellors from across the region, the minister discussed measures to increase access to Higher Education among under-represented groups.
Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson commented: “The Midlands is home to some of our leading universities, which are continuing the region’s proud history of innovation. I’ve been discussing with their Vice-Chancellors how universities and research can power the Midlands Engine, and what they can do to give more people from disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity of a degree.
“Birmingham City University has already made great progress in this, making it an excellent host to discuss our reforms putting teaching quality at the forefront of Higher Education.”
Mr Johnson also heard about the scale of the impact Higher Education institutions in the West Midlands have on the regional economy.
Professor Cliff Allan, Vice-Chancellor, Birmingham City University added: “West Midlands Higher Education institutions support around 24,000 full-time staff and give life-changing opportunities to over 100,000 students. It has been welcome to have a chance to discuss our role in the regional economy and in enabling under-represented groups to access higher education.
“I am proud to say that in the 2013-14 academic year more than 45% of Birmingham City University students came from low income households, offering a model for others to follow in light of the Minister’s desire for more universities to increase their intake of young people from less advantaged backgrounds.”
Universities West Midlands is a not-for-profit membership organisation working in support of the twelve Universities in the West Midlands. It fosters collaborative solutions and strong partnerships in support of economic, social and cultural well being and public benefit. Follow them on Twitter via @UniversitiesWM
Picture caption (left to right): Professor Peter Lutzeier, Vice-Chancellor, Newman University; Jackie Dunne, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Wolverhampton University; Alison Torrens, Executive Officer, Universities West Midlands; Professor Cliff Allan, Vice-Chancellor, Birmingham City University; Professor Sir David Eastwood, Vice-Chancellor, University of Birmingham; Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson; Professor Trevor McMillan, Vice-Chancellor, Keele University; Professor Ray Linforth, Vice-Chancellor, University College Birmingham; Baroness Julia King, Vice-Chancellor, Aston University; Professor David Green, Vice Chancellor, University of Worcester; Rosy Crehan, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Staffordshire University; Professor Stuart Croft, Vice-Chancellor, University of Warwick; and Dr David Llewellyn, Vice-Chancellor, Harper Adams University.