Jo Johnson has returned to the role of universities minister, a position he occupied for two and a half years under David Cameron and Theresa May.
Chris Skidmore, the incumbent for eight months, was promoted in Boris Johnson’s reshuffle to minister for health.
Johnson resigned on January 2018 over the government’s Brexit plans and vowed to campaign for a second referendum. He has been vocal on higher education issues from the backbenches, including dismissing the Augar Review as “bad policy, bad politics”.
Looks like Augar (as predicted) will destabilise uni finances, imperil many courses & reverse progress in widening access. Reducing fees to £7.5k will leave funding hole HMT won't fill + benefit only highest earning grads at expense of general taxpayer. Bad policy, bad politics.
— Jo Johnson (@JoJohnsonUK) May 29, 2019
From the backbenches, Johnson has also supported changes to post-study visas for international students at English and Welsh universities.
Great to see Foreign Affairs Ctte back return of a 2yr post-study work visa – @BorisJohnson and Home Sec @sajidjavid have signed up to my new clause in the Immigration Bill to do the necessary. Come on @Jeremy_Hunt.. https://t.co/4ttEj9u0Ws
— Jo Johnson (@JoJohnsonUK) June 26, 2019
Johnson’s role includes responsibility for research and science and is divided between the departments for education and business, energy and industrial strategy. He has also been promoted to the cabinet.
Gavin Williamson has been appointed education secretary.
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