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1994 Group Chair launches advice for an incoming government and calls on sector to make the case for investment

Issued on 03 March 2010

Speaking at the Houses of Parliament today (Wednesday) Professor Paul Wellings, Chair of the 1994 Group and Vice-Chancellor of Lancaster University said:

“The social, economic and political case for investing in our universities is compelling. As members of the Higher Education community we all have a responsibility make the case for investment – loud, clear and now.”

“2010 will be a crucial year for higher education. Our universities now face a number of critical challenges. Years of rising investment are being reversed at a time when universities are being asked to deliver more for students, taxpayers, business and society.”

“To maintaining the quality of the UK’s universities what we need most of all is a clear, stable and sustainable funding environment. Further cuts to higher education budgets would be a short-sighted move that would be bad for the economy and bad for the British people. They could have serious unwanted consequences, threatening much of the recent progress made on enhancing the student experience, increasing the impact of research and widening participation.”

The speech was made at a 1994 Group parliamentary reception hosted by David Willetts MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Universities and Skills and attended by around 150 higher education leaders and parliamentarians on the 3rd March 2010. At the reception, Professor Wellings launched a 1994 Group publication entitled ‘advice for an incoming government’ which sets out policy recommendations to support high quality Higher Education and enhance the UK’s universities.

Notes to Editors

  1. The 1994 Group publication ‘advice for an incoming government’ is attached and available from Wednesday 3rd March at
  2. The 1994 Group represents 19 of UK's leading student-focused research-intensive universities. It was established in 1994 to promote excellence in University research and teaching.
  3. In 17 major subject areas 1994 Group universities are the UK leaders achieving 1st place in their field (THE RAE subject rankings 2008). 57% of the 1994 Group's research is rated 4* 'world-leading' or 3* 'internationally excellent' (RAE 2008, HEFCE). 7 of the top 10 universities for student experience are 1994 Group Universities (2009 National Student Survey) 1994 Group members include 10 of the top 18 universities in the UK in The Guardian University Guide League Table published on the 12th May 2009.
  4. The 1994 Group represents: University of Bath, Birkbeck University of London, Durham University, University of East Anglia, University of Essex, University of Exeter, Goldsmiths University of London, Institute of Education University of London, Royal Holloway University of London, Lancaster University, University of Leicester, Loughborough University, Queen Mary University of London, University of Reading, University of St Andrews, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of Surrey, University of Sussex, University of York.
  5. Press Enquiries or for the full text of Professor Paul Wellings speech, please contact Alistair Jarvis Director of Communications, 1994 Group. Tel: 0207 872 5596 or 07779 232731. Email:

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