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Monday 9 March 2015

The new round table: Solent establishes higher education round table

Southampton Solent University has sponsored the first Southern Policy Centre (SPC) senior higher education policy round-table.

The event took place on Wednesday 4 March in London and was attended by key players in the Higher Education (HE) sector that included the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on HE, the Chair of the Business Select Committee, two former cabinet ministers for universities and the current Chief Executive of the Higher Education Council Funding Council for England (HEFCE).


With discussions taking place in the context of scenarios that may arise after the next election, the topics covered were fees and funding; access, widening participation and social mobility; regulation; local economic development; higher skills, enterprise and employer engagement and about how much consensus really exists on Higher Education.

Francis Davis, Chief Executive of SPC said: “It was brilliant to partner with Southampton Solent University for this ground-breaking event as it demonstrates how an institution can actually help to shape conversation at regional and national level. This is the first time we have hosted a round table and we were impressed both with the quality of contributors and the contributions made.

“The SPC was established as the new think tank and policy forum for central Southern England, the cornerstone of which is to facilitate meaningful conversations such as this.”

Professor Graham Baldwin, Vice-Chancellor of Southampton Solent added: “From the University’s perspective this event provided the platform for a high level conversation with people who are shaping change nationally as well as at a local level. As we move forward in an election year, these discussions will inform our own strategy, enabling us to identify new opportunities and potentially putting us ahead of the game.”