30th October 2001




Higher education is moving up the government’s agenda, according to a Hull academic who was at a reception with the Prime Minister yesterday (Monday).


John Knowles, who runs the University of Lincoln’s Access to HE project at the Cottingham Road campus, was at 10 Downing Street with representatives of other universities and colleges to discuss higher education with Tony Blair and other senior government figures.


Mr Blair addressed the meeting, which was also attended by Estelle Morris, Secretary of State for Education and Skills, and Margaret Hodge, Minister for Higher Education and Lifelong Learning.


“This was the first ever such reception for people working in higher education, so it looks as if the government is actually sitting up and listening to people in the sector,” said Mr Knowles.


“There was a heavy emphasis on widening participation, teaching and learning and innovation.”


Mr Knowles was able to put questions to Margaret Hodge on the government’s plans to ease financial hardship among university students.


“I told her you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink, and if the horse has to pay for the water then it’s even more difficult!” he said.


The University of Lincoln has an excellent record in widening participation to higher education, with 97% of its undergraduates coming from state schools or colleges and 15% coming from neighbourhoods with traditionally low levels of participation in HE.


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For more information contact: Jez Ashberry, Press and Media Relations Manager

University of Lincoln

Tel: 01522 886042

email: jashberry@lincoln.ac.uk


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