Leading figures in politics tend to focus on elite institutions to the detriment of the universities where most of their constituents study, Pam Tatlow, the outgoing chief of the MillionPlus group of teaching-led universities, has said.
Speaking to Research Fortnight following an announcement that she would step down in April 2017, Tatlow said that when it came to universities, politicians tended to “look at what they know”. She was reacting to an idea, floated by home secretary Amber Rudd at the Conservative Party conference, that international students should be concentrated around universities that recruit the “brightest and best”.
Tatlow said that the Russell Group institutions had “inbuilt advantages” over her members, partly because they were the universities that ministers had often attended. But she added that the universities minister Jo Johnson, an Oxford alumnus, had a more nuanced understanding, and that she expected him to oppose any such moves.