11 February 2019
Andrew Bridgen speaks in debate on the sustainability of university funding

In response to the Government statement on the financial sustainability of universities Andrew Bridgen highlights problems of the old system which was completely unsustainable.

Andrew Bridgen (North West Leicestershire) (Con)

Does the Minister recall that in 2010 the system we inherited for funding higher education was completely unsustainable? Does he agree that that was demonstrated by the fact that it was the previous Labour Government who commissioned the Browne review?

Chris Skidmore

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. Our inheritance from the previous Government meant that we had a cap on student numbers, low numbers of people from disadvantaged backgrounds going to university, and low numbers of women entering science and mathematics degrees. All those trends have been reversed by investing in access and participation plans, investment to ensure that universities can expand geographically and—[Interruption.] The hon. Member for Blackpool South (Gordon Marsden) is chuntering from a sedentary position. [Interruption.] I do apologise. The hon. Member for Ashton-under-Lyne (Angela Rayner) is chuntering from a sedentary position. I say again that turning back the clock to taxpayer-funded degrees would simply be a fee cut for the children of millionaires and I simply do not agree with that.