Science Minister announces changes to higher education

The Science Minister, Jo Johnson MP, has launched a White Paper – Success as a Knowledge Economy – which sets out broad changes to the higher education landscape across the UK.

This Paper builds on earlier consultations, including the Nurse Review of the Research Councils and the Minister’s Green Paper launched in November 2015. The Academy provided input on both occasions, and has continued to engage with this topic through our jointly-hosted PolicyLabs.

Professor Robert Lechler PMedSci, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences, said:

“We look forward to further exploring the details of this wide-ranging proposal, but welcome the Minister’s focus on supporting greater interdisciplinary working to tackle current and future societal challenges.

In our previous evidence submission, we highlighted the value of the individual bodies which will sit within the newly-formed UK Research and Innovation, and are pleased to see the Minister seeking to retain these identities in this restructuring process.

At a time of change, it is vital that leadership is robust, respected and well-informed. I am therefore delighted to see the appointment of John Kingman as interim Chair of UKRI – he will bring his considerable experience and understanding of the UK research sector to the role.

Further discussion is needed around the implementation of this new architecture, and we look forward to engaging with the Minister to ensure disruption to the sector is minimised.”

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