Yesterday during the Queens Speech debate Daniel Zeichner, Member of Parliament for Cambridge, called on the Government to “stop laying into universities” and recognise that they are one of Britain’s great success stories.
The Cambridge MP praised British universities, highlighting recent results from the Research Excellence Framework which emphasised the world leading quality of UK university research.
Mr Zeichner criticised the Government’s current approach to universities which often stokes up division and promotes culture war issues.
Mr Zeichner said the Government should instead be focusing on supporting British universities by providing certainty on the future of the Horizon Europe programme and collaborative funding between UK universities and foreign higher education institutes.
In the Queen’s Speech the Government confirmed they would be carrying over the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill, which has been criticised for providing legal protection for hate speech and manufacturing a debate when there is no significant problem with free speech in higher education.
Mr Zeichner said “its time the Government stop laying into universities and recognised they are one of Britain’s great success stories. All too often the Government’s approach to universities stirs up division and promotes harmful culture war debates. Instead, they should be backing British universities by providing them with clarity over the future of collaborative funding. So that UK universities can get on with what they are best at, delivering world leading research.”