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.
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