UK Government

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: Students’ Direct Line To Government

Press Release   •   Feb 25, 2010 10:01 GMT

Students have a direct line to Whitehall through the National Student Forum, as Minister of State for Higher Education David Lammy and Minister for Students Lord Young, publish the government’s response to their recommendations, today.

The response lays out how the Forum’s recommendations are contributing to three major strategies for the future of higher education: Higher Ambitions (the framework for the future of higher education), the Postgraduate Review and the independent review of higher education funding and student finance.

Recommendations from the Forum have directly informed major elements of Higher Ambitions.  They offered a direct insight into areas including information, advice and guidance, flexible teaching and Learning and Employability Strategies.

David Lammy said,

“I would like to thank the Student Forum for all the work they have done this year, which has made an invaluable contribution to Higher Ambitions.

“Working together, students, higher education institutions and the government can ensure the student voice is central to the development of higher education policy and improving the student experience.

“Even in these more challenging times, the productive dialogue which has developed between Government and the NSF presents a real opportunity to look at how universities can support students better, how they can provide more flexible provision and how they can learn from each other to improve.”

Lord Young, said:

“The National Student Forum was set up two years ago to give a stronger voice to the concerns of students in government and I have been impressed by the way it has focussed on issues which are recognised across the sector as key to improving the student experience.

“This is part of an ongoing process and I really value the opportunities I have to meet and talk to students during my visits to universities. A strong voice is essential to ensuring that both government and institutional policies are tailored to the specific needs and concerns of students. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Maeve Sherlock for her superb Chairmanship of the NSF over the last two years.”

The NSF presented recommendations in its second annual report in November last year. They will now work with BIS and the Higher Education Funding Council to develop their proposals to support higher education institutions in these areas.

Notes to Editors

1.         For further information please contact BIS press office on 0207 215 5982.

2.         To view the report online or to contribute visit:

3.         The Forum is part of the wider Student Listening Programme and has been developed in partnership with the National Union of Students, the National Postgraduate Committee, the Mature Students’ Union, the Open University Students’ Association, Skill – the national bureau for students with disabilities and the British Council. Each of these organisations has worked closely with BIS to nominate students to be Forum members. And they have worked very closely with BIS to ensure that the Forum accurately represents the diversity of our student population.

4.         The Student Listening Programme ensures students are able to make their views and ideas heard with Ministers responding to specific issues raised. The programme includes ministerial visits to university campuses across England with Ministers meeting students face-to-face to hear their experiences first-hand.

Department for Business, Innovation & Skills

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is building a dynamic and competitive UK economy by: creating the conditions for business success; promoting innovation, enterprise and science; and giving everyone the skills and opportunities to succeed. To achieve this it will foster world-class universities and promote an open global economy. BIS - Investing in our future.


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