The ABPI has responded to the Higher Education White Paper, Students at the heart of the system, which proposes changes to the funding of undergraduate education.
Whilst recognising the current tight financial constraints that the Government is working under, we believe that it is vital for the continuing health of the science base in the UK for high cost science and engineering courses to remain viable for universities to provide. Students must continue to experience high quality teaching and wide-ranging practical experience.
The cost of providing high quality practical teaching in many science and engineering subjects is higher than the maximum student fee provides.
We look forward to learning of the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s proposals for funding high cost subjects from 2013 and hope that the mechanism proposed enables universities to continue to provide high quality teaching in subjects which are in demand by employers and are vital to the UK economy.
Any shortfall in funding for high cost subjects will discourage higher education institutions from maintaining capacity in science and engineering courses. The availability of these subjects across a wide geographic spread of institutions is essential to provide the skilled scientists and engineers vital for a continuing high quality UK science base and science based industry, and to ensure participation across all socio-economic groups.
There are no student loans for fees or living costs for taught masters’ courses. This discourages home students from taking these courses, some of which provide essential training for key roles in the pharmaceutical industry.
We welcome the aim to provide young people with consistent, detailed information to help them make informed decisions about their education but believe young people also need individual advice to ensure they do not make inappropriate decisions on courses to take at school, college and university.
Download the ABPI's response to the Higher Education White Paper (PDF, 361KB)