Boris Johnson says ‘talent and genius are expressed as much by hand and by eye as they are in a spreadsheet or an essay’
Too many courses in universities “are not now delivering value”, Boris Johnson said, as he signalled that further education would be prioritised when the government bids to rebuild the UK economy after the coronavirus pandemic.
In a speech delivered at a college of technology in Dudley, setting out plans for the economy to “bounce back better”, the prime minister said that “for a century we have failed to invest enough in further education and give young people the practical training and further education they need”.
Contrasting this with the higher education sector, Mr Johnson said that the UK has “umpteen fantastic, globally outstanding universities, and yet too many degree courses are not now delivering value”.
Mr Johnson said that £1.5 billion would be invested in refurbishing “dilapidated” further education colleges, “because it is time the system recognised that talent and genius are expressed as much by hand and by eye as they are in a spreadsheet or an essay”.
Mr Johnson’s comments on higher education in the speech focused on access, saying that he wanted to “end the current injustice that means a pupil from a London state school is now 50 per cent more likely to go to a top university than a pupil from the West Midlands”.
Read more : Chris Havergal : Times Higher Education : 30 June 2020