Oral Answers to Questions Debate

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Department: Department for Education

Oral Answers to Questions
Joseph Johnson Excerpts
Monday 11th December 2017

(2 years, 2 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Department for Education
Joanna Cherry (Edinburgh South West) (SNP) - Hansard

17. What assessment she has made of the effect of the UK leaving the EU on staffing levels in universities. [902859]

The Minister for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation (Joseph Johnson) Hansard

EU staff make an important contribution to our universities. The UK and the EU have reached an agreement on citizens’ rights that will allow EU citizens to continue living here broadly as now, which will help to provide certainty to such staff in our institutions.

Joanna Cherry - Hansard
11 Dec 2017, 3:20 p.m.

Heriot-Watt University and Edinburgh Napier University in my constituency have made staff redundant, citing Brexit and the UK Government’s immigration policies as a proximate cause. Napier University has advised me that potential staff members from other EU countries are turning down job offers. What concrete reassurance can the Minister give these international award-winning universities that Brexit will not further affect their staffing levels?

Joseph Johnson Hansard
11 Dec 2017, 3:20 p.m.

That uncertainty is completely unnecessary. I point the universities to the joint report issued last Friday by the Commission and the UK Government that points to our continued participation in programmes such as Horizon 2020 not just up until March 2019, but until the end of 2020. They should appreciate that important reassurance.

Paul Masterton (East Renfrewshire) (Con) Hansard
11 Dec 2017, 3:20 p.m.

Many of my constituents in East Renfrewshire work in academic research and are concerned about the impact of Brexit on collaboration with European institutions. What reassurance can the Minister give to my constituents that Brexit will not put that collaboration in doubt?

Joseph Johnson Hansard

They can take reassurance from the statement that was put out on Friday. We will participate in Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+ beyond the point of Brexit—until the end of 2020. That is of fundamental importance to our scientific endeavour.

Robert Jenrick Portrait Robert Jenrick (Newark) (Con) - Hansard

T1. If she will make a statement on her departmental responsibilities. [902868]

Break in Debate

Gordon Marsden (Blackpool South) (Lab) Hansard
11 Dec 2017, 3:20 p.m.

Friday’s National Audit Office report on the higher education market is hugely damaging. It says that the market is failing students and that such practice anywhere else would raise questions of mis-selling. Meanwhile, the Student Loans Company is in crisis. This is all under the watch of the Minister for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation. What does he say now to the NAO?

The Minister for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation (Joseph Johnson) Hansard
11 Dec 2017, 3:20 p.m.

The National Audit Office rightly pointed out that students want value for money, which has been the guiding objective of our entire suite of HE reform programmes. That is why we have set up the Office for Students, which will ensure that universities are held to account for the teaching quality and value for money that they deliver to our students.

Tom Pursglove Portrait Tom Pursglove (Corby) (Con) - Hansard

T4. The Secretary of State is absolutely right to shout about the fact that 1.9 million more children are now in good or outstanding schools, including in Corby and east Northamptonshire. That equates to 87% of children in such schools now, compared with 66% in 2010. Does the Minister agree that that is real progress and not, as some have suggested, the result of an increase in the school-age population? [902872]

Break in Debate

Eddie Hughes Portrait Eddie Hughes (Walsall North) (Con) - Parliament Live - Hansard
11 Dec 2017, 3:29 p.m.

Figures released recently by the right hon. Member for Tottenham (Mr Lammy) show that the proportion of students in my constituency who get the top grades and go to top universities is lower than in the south-east of the country. What action can the Government take to address that inequality?

Joseph Johnson Parliament Live - Hansard

Data published by UCAS today shows that the 18-year-old entry rate to full-time education in Walsall North has increased by 54% compared with 2006. In our last guidance to the director of fair access, we asked that areas with the poorest progression to university received particular attention.

Louise Haigh (Sheffield, Heeley) (Lab) - Parliament Live - Hansard

T8. A maintained primary school in my constituency has received over 20 pupils in year from a local academy because of their permanent exclusion, or because they have been pushed out due to the risk of a permanent exclusion. What more can the Department and local authorities do to disincentivise academies from excluding pupils and pushing them on to maintained primaries? [902876]