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David Willetts MP

Conservative MP

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Stories involving David Willetts

Small colleges to become universities

Universities Minister David Willetts is expected to announce that small higher education institutions of under 4,000 students will be able to apply for university status, even if they have no intention of increasing in size or want to focus on a single subject.


Willetts: Moving up is very hard

Class is still a divide in the UK and moving up is "very hard", David Willetts has said.

In a wide-ranging interview with The Times, the Universities Minister defended the appointment of Professor Les Ebdon as head of the Office for Fair Access, saying he was a candidate "who came from the world of universities and understood it".

Mr Willetts also said that he believed universities should be "levelling up, not levelling down" and that "there is no power to force a university to accept someone on a course who doesn’t have the ability to gain from that course and who isn’t up to it".


Govt uni scheme to project growth

The Government has announced a privately-funded science university plan. David Willetts, who is heading the initiative, said science and research will drive the economy into growth.

 

Similar to project in New York, British universities are being asked to come up with ideas which the Government would help with. The universities have to find their own private funding however.

 

Mr Willetts said: “we are saying to the universities and potential new entrants, the ball is in your court, if you have got smart ideas about things you would like to do in the future that are a bit different from things you do now then come up with the ideas and we’ll look at them sympathetically.”


Universities told to expand abroad

The Government is urging British universities to set up campuses overseas in order to teach more foreign students, prompting concern from university leaders that its pledge to cut immigration is stifling opportunities for foreign students to study in the UK.

A vice-chancellor told the Sunday Times they had been told "it would not be possible for the government to hit its targets for reducing net migration without cutting the number of visas given to genuine students”.


Willetts: Students not put off by fees

Provisional figures suggest young people are not being put off applying to university by increased tuition fees.

"It looks as is young people aren’t being put off, it looks as if the crucial group that we’ve made a great effort," the Universities Minister David Willetts told Sky News. "A lot of the debate over the past year has been whether young people leaving school or college would think they had to pay for university and so wouldn’t go."


Willetts forced to abandon speech

David Willetts was forced to walk out of a speech at Cambridge University last night after it was disrupted by protesters. The Universities Minister was supposed to speak on the 'Idea of University' but was shouted down by protesters opposed to the Government's higher education policies.


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