VC speaks out over university overhaul

Vice Chancellor has published a reflection on the Government White Paper that opens up Universities to private competition

koen lamberts The University of York Vice-Chancellor Koen Lamberts has released a statement outlining his personal position on the government’s higher education white paper, entitled: ‘Success as a knowledge economy: teaching excellence, social mobility and student choice’.

The white paper, which is the official response to the government’s green paper consultation last year, discusses competition, the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and a new regulatory structure for higher education.

Lamberts discussed all three in his response, outlining how the first chapter is aimed at removing barriers for new providers, the second will seek to enhance quality and choice, and the third outlined the new market regulator.

Despite refusing to outline the desirability of the proposals, Lamberts did discuss the potential impact it will have on York.

Referencing the changes in the TEF, he stated how “universities will be challenged to think more about the purpose of the teaching they offer, about how they allocate their resources to teaching and research, and about how they can develop innovative partnerships with external organisations to deliver key elements of their mission”.

Lamberts accepted that these changes will impact the University, but reinforced his message that he is confident York is in good stead.
“For some time at least, we will be protected by our strong reputation as a comprehensive, research-intensive Russell Group university with excellent teaching and high standards for entry and progression.”

However, Lamberts did comment on how competition will increase and placed importance on what York must do to attract a greater number of students to stand the University in a good financial situation.

Lamberts also spoke of how he believed the University is in a good position on the research front, stating York is “well set up to benefit from the new Global Challenges funding streams”.

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