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Universities: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL8958, tabled on 8 October 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have formed a COVID-19 response University stakeholder advisory group; and if not, why not.

Answered on

22 October 2020

On 18 August, the government launched a Higher Education Taskforce comprising various representatives of the sector, initially to advise on higher education admissions and acceptances. Membership of the taskforce includes representatives from Universities UK, the Universities & Colleges Admissions Service and a wide range of groups representing the Vice-Chancellors of a broad range of higher education providers.

This group has continued to meet as the autumn term has begun and has discussed other challenges higher education providers are facing in light of COVID-19. We will look to review its terms of reference and membership in due course, in order to ensure that it remains the right means of advising on the challenges faced by higher education providers and students.

My hon. Friend, the Minister of State for Universities, has also chaired a number of sub-groups, looking at elements of the response to COVID-19 in more detail, including winter planning and student mental health.

Alongside the Higher Education Taskforce, my hon. Friend, the Minister of State for Universities has regularly been meeting other representatives of the higher education sector, including university Vice-Chancellors, the National Union of Students, and the Union for Colleges and Universities.