University Admissions Policy — 25 Oct 2004 at 18:45

I beg to move,

That this House believes that universities should be solely and wholly in charge of their own admissions policies, without regard to any externally imposed quotas, targets or benchmarks; affirms that access to higher education should be determined on the basis of academic merit, not social, economic or geographical background; welcomes and supports the efforts of universities to seek out, find and encourage talent in all parts of society, endeavours which long pre-date Government intervention and which are threatened, not encouraged, by it; recognises that attempts to force universities to use politically-determined criteria threaten academic excellence and independence alike; notes that the Government's policies on these issues have sparked deep-seated anger and resentment among universities, whose leaders have in consequence warned Ministers not to interfere with university admissions policy and even openly contemplated self-privatisation as a means of escape; regrets the appointment of a University Access Regulator who has declared himself to be of the view that the principal issue facing higher education is class; and urges the immediate abolition of the Office for Fair Access and the removal of state interference from issues which lie at the heart of university independence, freedom and standards.

I beg to move,

To leave out from 'policies,' to end and add 'a point which was repeatedly made clear during the passage of the Higher Education Act 2004 and is now enshrined in that legislation; notes that the Opposition opposed the passage of that Act; welcomes the annual publication of the higher education performance indicators which enable institutions to reflect on their own position; abhors the recent misinterpretation of those indicators as targets or quotas linked to funding; agrees that admissions to higher education should always be based on merit; further welcomes the recent report from Professor Schwartz on fair admissions to higher education; agrees that it is for institutions themselves to decide how to implement the Schwartz principles; supports the Government's policies to widen participation in higher education and open access for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds with the potential to benefit; congratulates the Government and the higher education sector on the steps they are taking to achieve this goal; notes that the most powerful driver of increased participation is to raise standards in schools; commends the new student support arrangements which will make higher education free at the point of use and fair at the point of repayment; further commends the establishment of the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) which will result in more financial support for students and more outreach work to boost applications from under-represented groups; and further notes that universities' admissions policies will be outside OFFA's remit.'.

Question put, That the original words stand part of the Question:-

The House divided: Ayes 136, Noes 332.

Debate in Parliament | Historical Hansard | Source |

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Party Summary

Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.

What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.

What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.

What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.

PartyMajority (No)Minority (Aye)BothTurnout
Con0 130 (+2 tell)081.0%
DUP0 3050.0%
Independent0 1050.0%
Lab295 (+2 tell) 0073.0%
LDem35 0063.6%
PC2 0050.0%
UUP0 2040.0%
Total:332 136073.5%

Rebel Voters - sorted by party

MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party. You can see all votes in this division, or every eligible MP who could have voted in this division

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no rebellions

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